WITH the Michaelmas Fair just one week away, the town of Bishops Castle is getting ready for one of its busiest celebrations of the year.

Today, September 17, there is a chance to prepare for the Fair’s Lantern Parade with a lantern making workshop at the Church Barn between noon and 4pm.

The free workshop will enable you to make your very own willow and paper lantern and join the very best candlelit parade at the Michaelmas Fair on Saturday, September 23.

All materials are provided and all are welcome, although children should be accompanied by a willing helper.

Taking place throughout the town from noon until 9pm, the Michaelmas Fair is packed with live music, street entertainment and special events.

Steam engines, vintage vehicle processions, stalls, workshops and incredible entertainment, will all be there with admission costing just £5 for adults with under 12s free.

This year they also feature the Liverpool Hung Gar Kung Fu School Chinese Lion and Dragon Dancers, a fantastic martial arts school performing traditional Chinese Hung Gar Kung Fu hand forms and weapon forms, along with Chinese Lion and Dragon dancing.

Panic Family Circus spread fun through circus skills, puppetry, games, storytelling and creativity.

Nelson the Elephant, the giant working model, is back and this year there is an addition to the family not to be missed.

There are some great dance displays this year from Zazu Tribal Dancers, who celebrate dance through the history and roots of the Ghawazee people; Hi-Frequency Dance, seven girls from ages 15-18 years from Telford performing a mix of street dances; and Raise the Dust Appalachian Dancers whose dynamic musicianship and powerful singing give stunning performances that are big on energy, expertise and excitement.

This year there are some extra special bee events, being a rural town and the birthplace of Albert Howard who founded the organic farming movement 100 years ago, Bishops Castle is understandably concerned about protecting bees and boosting their numbers; so the Montgomery Beekeepers Association will be letting visitors see bees at work in the glass-sided exhibition observation bee hive and brood box.

Tapestry displaying bee forage plants by season is on loan from the Welsh Botanic Gardens; Bees and Beetles Wildlife role-play lets you meet the pollinators: interview a hand-made model of a bee or another pollinating insect and see the world from a different perspective; Natural England and Friends of the Earth ‘Bee Cause’ local ecology groups are providing a beautiful bee-themed art and crafts afternoon and promote their ‘Bee Cause’ to reverse bee decline in the UK.

Also join the Bee Procession which will ‘waggle dance’ from the ‘hive’ all around the town.

Vehicle procession commentary again comes from TV’s “Fuzz” Townshend with Will Robinson who was born and bred in Bishops Castle and has many years’ experience in the motor industry.

“Fuzz is a long-time supporter of the fair and we are delighted that they will both be providing the commentary for our amazing vehicle processions,” said Liz Still for the Michaelmas Fair committee.

Being Bishops Castle, of course there will be all kinds of music on the day with performances from Fight the Bear, The Nuclear Weasels, The Mighty Vipers, Paprika Blues Band, The Conspiritualists, Bablefish, Knighton Town Silver Band, The Singing Florist, Bishops Castle Orchestra, Tradewinds Shindy, The Men From Off, Bishops Castle Community Band, Castle Voices, and The Bishops Castle AMP (About Music Project).

Some special surprises and lots more are also promised and for more information visit facebook www.michaelmasfair.co.uk or call 01588 638159.