NEXT weekend will see Droitwich taken over by the annual celebration of the town’s unique salt heritage with Salt Fest.

The festival will be opened by the chairman of Wychavon District Council, Councillor Lynne Duffy, and Droitwich mayor Councillor Bob Brookes, running from Saturday, September 13 to Sunday, September 14, with a parade through the town led by the Droitwich Air Cadets Band.

‘Salt Alley’ will be open to the public to learn all about the town’s salt history with displays and activities, including salt making demonstrations, salt carving and model cars powered by salt.

The festival will also feature entertainment with salt songs, storytelling and a performance of ‘A Flavour of a Salt Maker’s Celebration’ which depicts a late 17th century Michaelmas feast.

Roman soldiers will be setting up camp in Vines Park, where visitors will be able to listen to stories and get the chance to find out how they lived, and learn about the life of a soldier in the Roman army, include what they ate, and what they wore.

Local businesses and community groups will be taking part in Salt Fest with Droitwich Arts Network hosting an art exhibition, and a Community Service Zone featuring advice and information on community safety from groups including the fire service, West Mercia Crimestoppers, Fortis Living and the new Droitwich Food Bank, which will be collecting donations of food at its stall.

St Andrew’s Street will feature a farmers’ and craft market, and there will be a street market on High Street, while in Vines Park there will be live music, and real ale and cider bars.

Children can enjoy a farm animal corner, art activities, circus skills, canoeing, canal boat trips and a duck race, and there will be dog show on Sunday organised by by local vets MacArthur, Barstow and Gibbs and with nine classes to enter. Money raised will go to Danemere Animal Rescue and Bishops Wood Swan Rescue.

On Sunday people are invited to take part in a nine mile run along the Droitwich canal leaving Vines Park at 10.30am to raise money for Murrays Muscles, before the festival culminates in the arrival of the Womens’ Institute Centenary Baton to the town.

Janet Yates, Droitwich Spa Area Partnership manager for Wychavon, said: “Salt Fest is a well established event for the town and it’s great to see so many community groups and businesses getting involved to organise activities and showcase what we have to offer.

“The visit by the WI baton, as it tours the country to celebrate their centenary, is definitely a good addition for the event.”