HUNDREDS of family events and fun activities are set to take place across the city as the Worcester Festival kicks off tomorrow.

This year's festival is full of markets, live music, tours, performances, competitions and classes as well as talks, workshops and much more.

After the official opening by the mayor of Worcester, there will be music by the Shirley Pipe Band, face painting by Funky Faces Face Painting, the St Richard's Hospice duck race and many events at Worcester Cathedral and Worcester City Museum & Art Gallery.

The festival will close on Bank Holiday Monday with the St Richard’s Hospice fireworks display with entertainment starting at 9pm before the display begins at 10pm.

Festival regulars can expect the return of festival mascot Percy the Peacock, who will be out and about handing out balloons and posing for pictures, live music on the High Street every Saturday, the Swan Theatre Summer Fête and the annual St Richard’s Hospice Duck Race.

Academy Theatre Arts will be holding a summer school offering dancing, singing and acting, whilst Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum and The Commandery will both be playing host to many exhibitions and activities.

This year also sees the return of the Worcester Show at Gheluvelt Park, and the launch of the Swan Theatre Pantomime, Sleeping Beauty.

A Family Prize Quiz Trail is back for the third year running, as is the Crowngate Percy Trail, where residents are encouraged to look out for Percy’s face in shop windows throughout Crowngate Shopping Centre.

Also, new for this year, there will be a Percy colouring competition for youngsters wanting to get their artistic hat on.

Chris Jaeger, director of Worcester Festival, said: “August is always an exciting time in Worcester, and this August will be no exception. The Worcester Festival offers a wide range of eclectic events for all the family, and many of those events are free.

“It’s also a great opportunity to try an event at a venue you’ve never been to, or perhaps to try something you’ve never done before. We really hope as many people as possible come along and get involved.”

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