A new festival showcasing dance, drama, music and song will take place in Newark town centre from July 21 to 23.

The Newark Traditions Festival will use venues in the Market Place, castle gardens, the riverside and town centre pubs as well as the Town Hall.

One of the organisers, Mr Mike Everett, of Sutton-on-Trent, said he had been involved in similar festivals when he lived in Suffolk, and Newark was an ideal venue.

“There are lots of wonderful places in the town for Morris dancing and hopefully we can build on the event,” he said. 

A total of 14 Morris and Sword dancing groups from across the country will take part.

The programme starts on Friday evening when there will be rapper sword dance tour of pubs by Maltby Sword Dancers.

There will be performances throughout the weekend of Morris dancers in the Market Place, castle gardens and The Wharf as well as local folk plays.

'There will be plenty for locals and visitors to enjoy'

On Saturday evening there will be a ceilidh in the ballroom of the Town Hall with music by Malt Whiskers.

There will also be dances from the 17th to 19th centuries with music by Jolly Beggars.

Tickets cost £5 and are available from the Newark Traditions Festival website.

On Sunday there is the opportunity for people to try Cotswold morris dancing when the York Minster Strays will be holding free sessions at the Flying Circus, Castlegate.

Mr Everett said music and song sessions would also be held throughout the weekend in the town’s pubs when people could come along and listen to traditional songs or take along their own instruments and join in.

“There will be plenty for locals and visitors to enjoy and, apart from the dances in the ballroom, all events are free,” he said.