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Lichfield City Art Trail

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by Tony Collins (subscribe)
I am a freelance writer specialising mainly in health and education and living in Staffordshire. Find me on Linked In
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Search The City's Streets For Hares And Tortoises
The Aesop's Fable about the slow and steady tortoise and the speedy, boastful hare is one of the most familiar and faithful stories around. And now the tale of 'The Hare and the Tortoise' is coming alive in the city of Lichfield in Staffordshire as part of the annual Lichfield Festival which runs from July 7 to 15.

Lichfield Festival
Painting one of the hares for the City Art Trail

Sculptures of around 30 hares and tortoises in various shades and colours have been carefully created and designed and now form part of a City Art Trail. The Lichfield Festival's popular animal art trail is making a welcome return to the historic city's streets and landmarks following the Pig Parade in 2011 and the Baby Elephant Parade which formed a key feature of the Festival in 2015. This year organisers have added a twist in the form of two different animals following inspiration from Aesop's Fable.

Lichfield Festival
One of the completed tortoises

Visitors to Lichfield during the course of the festival will be encouraged to follow the art trail and find as many of the hidden hares and tortoises they can find. There is also a competition for people to complete a series of clues and claim a prize, with full details available online. At the end of the Festival, people will be able to purchase either a hare or a tortoise - or even one of each - when the sculptures are auctioned off in aid of charity. The auction will be held on Saturday 15 July from 3pm on the lawns in front of Lichfield Cathedral when all the beautifully painted and decorated models created by local schools, community groups and businesses will be found new homes.

Lichfield Festival
One of the elephants from the 2015 Festival ready for auction

The Lichfield Festival, which is the city's biggest annual arts event, features a vibrant mix of music, theatre, film, comedy, author talks, family events and visual arts, offering something for everyone. Headline performers range from Rich Hall, Seth Lakeman and Sir Tony Robinson to The Halle Orchestra, Ballet Cymru and Black Voices. The event also features a celebration of Broadway legend Richard Rodgers, and a number of events marking the anniversaries of Jane Austen and Lichfield's own David Garrick. The fun starts at 2pm on Festival Friday (7 July) when 200 local school children will perform a Song Trail through the city, and street performers herald a week of free live entertainment on the Festival busking stages.

Lichfield Festival
One of the hares decorated for this year's event

In addition, free exhibitions include imaginative superhero characters dreamed up by local children and community artists, Hear My Voice project's community archive of stories and photos on the theme of journeys, and the return of the Florette Festival Market with 130 stalls, refreshments, activities and live performances on Saturday 8 July. Lichfield Festival is one of the leading cultural organisations in the West Midlands, having been formed as a registered charity in 1981. For more information visit, Facebook at or Twitter:
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Why? Enjoy The Fun Of A City Animal Trail Through The Streets Of Lichfield
When: 7 - 15 July 2017
Phone: 01543 412121
Where: Lichfield Cathedral, 19A The Close, Lichfield WS13 7LD
Cost: The Art Trail Is Free But Prices Vary For Other Events
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