Published: March 4, 2009
2009 Highbridge Festival Of The Arts starts today

Highbridge's annual Festival of the Arts gets underway on Wednesday (March 4th).

The popular festival, which is now in its 62nd year, will feature talented youngsters from the age of three at The Princess in Burnham-On-Sea until March 14th.

Entries this year total almost 1,600, which is a slight increase on last year, with dance again proving the most popular section.

The dance section runs from March 4th to 8th; speech and drama on March 9th and 10th; vocals on March 11th and 12th; and instrumentals on March 13th and 14th.

Festival tickets cost £1 per session or £5 for the whole festival and a souvenir programme will be available at £1.50 on the door.

The show began in 1948 to get people interested in the arts after the Second World War. The first Highbridge Festival Of The Arts was held over a half day in May 1948 and included classes covering vocal, instrumental and country dancing. The event quickly became so popular that classes for adult singing, choirs and instrumentals were added. And by 1977 the festival had been extended to three weeks with entries spanning a huge 1,200 classes.

After 35 years in Highbridge, the event moved to Burnham-On-Sea when Highbridge's Town Hall was deemed unsafe. Since 1984, the event has been held in The Princess Hall. Several notable names from the world of entertainment have begun their careers at the festival, including Stephen Daldry and Rupert Graves.

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