Let The Festivities Commence

There was really only one place to be this Saturday if you wanted to get into the festive spirit, and that was Mill Road Winter Fair! The Strawberry Fair team were out in full force with a stall in Argyle Street, individuals busking in various locations and we were even riding the sound system through the crowd on our Strawberry Fair bike.

We were workshopping our bin painting projects and selling our merchandise including T shirts from previous years and of course many of our fairy folk were totally dressed up for the occasion. As usual, the event was a huge success for the entire community and it was wonderful to have so many of you pop in and say hello at the stall, show your support and join in the fun. Christmas has properly kicked off in Cambridge!!

It’s been a busy old month for the Strawberry Fairies, with our programming perhaps at the very forefront of our minds! It’s that time of year when we get to hear the exciting plans for the different entertainment areas as they embrace the new theme and it’s safe to say this is always produces some lively meetings. True to form, the Fairy Tale themed presentations certainly didn't disappoint with some entirely new and very creative propositions being brought to the table. We are now officially getting excited as Fairy Tales are well and truly being written into 2017 – it’s promising to be such a brilliant year.

Skills sharing

Can we tell you about a new and very exciting development for the Fair? We’re currently putting together a community skills-sharing programme. One of the wonderful things about our volunteer team is the huge amount of talent and professional expertise we have between us from such a range of professions and people from all walks of life. Not limited to the Strawberry Fair group, we are reaching out into the community and offering a set of skills-sharing workshops from Costume-Making to Set-Building, Social Media Marketing to Poetry-Writing, Simple Accountancy skills to IT skills …We’ve got such a diverse group of talented individuals who have interesting and useful things to offer. If indeed you have a skill you'd like to share with the community that you think would suit a workshop-based session, please give us a shout. We’d really love to hear from you.

Band competition open for entries!

It’s with a big fanfare we launched this year’s Cambridge Band Competition, now open for entries (until Tuesday 31st January). Application forms are available via the Cambridge Band Competition page on the Strawberry Fair website at http://strawberry-fair.org.uk/pages/bandcomp/. Entrants can be any performers of original music, from solo performers to full bands. All genres are acceptable, so long as material is original music. Soloists, comedy musicians, and classical musicians are also encouraged to apply – it’s not just about full bands, the competition is for every musician in the Cambridgeshire region. The Band Competition is actually two competitions – the Over 18’s and the Under 18’s – both run in tandem with each other.

The heats will be held at The Portland Arms in March on Sundays.

All finalists will win the opportunity to perform at Strawberry Fair as well as competing for a number of impressive musical and developmental prizes. In the last 30 years, the Band Competition has produced some great winners, many of the competitors have gone on to work with some top names in the industry, and all have fond recollections of being involved in the event. For further information and to arrange interviews please contact Mark McGivern mark@strawberry-fair.org.uk.

So as the festive season lurches into full swing …We have a fantastic list of things you could get involved with.

Sometimes another stilted office Christmas party just doesn't cut it, does it? Allow us to suggest you ditch the cheesy disco and just bring your colleagues along to the next Strawberry Fair - Scarecrow Corner Fundraising gig on December 14th at The Portland Arms instead where you can guarantee you will be truly educating them. Trust us, the ties will be around their sweaty heads in no time. November’s Ratcore ska punk gig went down a storm and this month we’re excited to present the utterly legendary Dogshite, Cara from The Defectors and The Dirty Stopouts. Then, on December 18th we present our Strawberry Fair Winter Warmer; a music and poetry night starring The Greasy Strings, The Murder Ballads, Johnny Marvel, Izzy Phoenix, Belle Basura, Dave Crowbar and Mark McGivern. Imagine the conversation around the water machine the next morning after all that …Go on, we double dare you!

And, if after all that you've still got some Christmas sparkle left in you … Come and shake an enchanted bucket or two with us on our fairy-tale-themed fancy-dress Christmas fundraising pub crawl. We’ve earmarked this festive mission to take place on Saturday December 17th, probably around the Mill Road area. Anyone interested in donning some fairy wings and waving their magic wand over the great British public that evening should email iwanttogetinvolved@strawberry-fair.org.uk

If there’s one thing guaranteed to start the new year off in the right way …It’s getting your creative juices flowing. So when you’ve eaten the turkey, packed off the relatives and done the sales and you’re beginning to think about those new year resolutions — why not add the 2017 Strawberry Fair T-Shirt and Poster competitions to your list. We welcome entries from any age group and any level of ability. Details of both competitions are on the website. The T-Shirt Competition closes 16th January and the Poster competition on February 19th. The winners get their designs on the front cover of the Programme, the key design for the poster and the main image on this year's t-shirt. The designs have started to come in and already we have had some brilliant designs.

As ever, we are always looking for new volunteers to get involved. We have such a varied range of opportunities on offer and its always so good to bring new faces into the team. Just email Iwanttohelp@strawberry-fair.org.uk

Meetings this December are as follows:

  • Dec 7th - Infrastructure at the NCI
  • Dec 14th - Programming at the NCI
  • Dec 21st - Christmas Social (The Portland Arms)