Hertford Town Council is announcing its community events programme for 2023, which will include the return of established favourites as well as some brand-new events to suit all ages.
Annual events to return for 2023 include ‘Rock at the Castle’, a free music festival, the ‘Hertford Castle Open Air Cinema’, and the ‘Food & Drink Festival’, amongst many others.
New for 2023, Hertford Town Council will run a FREE family-friendly event in celebration of the Coronation of his Majesty the King and as part of the annual Hertford Arts Festival, “HArts Fest”, Hertford Town Council will be working in partnership with local businesses and groups to run FREE daily art or cultural workshops in the grounds of Hertford Castle.
All events are free of charge to attend, with the exception of the Hertford Castle Open Air Cinema and Open Air Theatre.
Cllr Jane Sartin, Chairman of the Development and Leisure Committee, said: “Hertford Town Council’s community events programme has become a hugely popular aspect of life in Hertford. Once again there is something for everyone – whether you want to bring your teddy to the Teddy Bears’ Picnic, enjoy live music at Rock at the Castle, or learn more about local history at the Hertford Castle Heritage Day, and lots more besides. As a special event this year, Hertford Town Council will mark the Coronation with an afternoon of fun activities in the Castle Grounds, which I’m sure will be a memorable occasion.”
EVENTS PROGRAMME LINE UP
Saturday 8th April – Saturday 15th April
The annual Hertford Arts Festival, “HArts Fest”, a weeklong event, will showcase and promote local art and cultural events, activities, and exhibitions within Hertford and the local area. During the week, Hertford Town Council will also be working in partnership with local businesses and groups to run FREE daily art or cultural workshops in the grounds of Hertford Castle.
Hertford Castle King's Coronation Festival
Sunday 7th May
12pm – 4pm
In celebration of the Coronation of his Majesty the King, visitors are invited to “Picnic on the Lawn” at Hertford Castle. Bring along your picnic and pitch up with friends and family to enjoy a relaxed day in the beautiful Castle grounds with music entertainment, garden games, food, and drink stalls, and a children’s ’Kings & Queens’ fancy dress competition. The Castle will be open for visitors to explore.
Cars at the Castle
Sunday 4th June
12pm – 4pm
A fun fuelled day, set within the picturesque Hertford Castle grounds. With over 50 exhibiting cars and motorcycles, live music, and food & drink stalls it's a perfect day out for car enthusiasts and all the family. The Castle will be open for visitors to explore.
Hertford Castle Open Air Theatre
Sunday 17th June
Hertford Castle will be hosting two open air theatre performances in its grounds for you to enjoy with friends and the whole family. Bring along a picnic, or treat yourself from the food stalls and bar, sit back, relax and enjoy the show.
“Wind In the Willows” on the Main Lawn
Tickets prices £10 per person
Gates open at 2.00pm, performance starts at 2:30pm
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” on the Main Lawn
Tickets prices £10 per person
Gates open at 6:30pm, performance starts at 7:00pm
Tickets can be purchased online at www.hertford.gov.uk/events or from the Town & Tourist Information Centre by calling 01992 584322
Hertford Food and Drink Festival
Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th July
Head to the county town of Hertfordshire for a two-day Food and Drink Festival. Event highlights include the Hertford Castle Beer & World Food Festival, street food markets, café, bar and restaurant activities, samples, events and promotions, and cookery demonstrations.
Hertford Castle Beer and World Food Festival
Sunday 9th July
12 pm – 6pm
As part of the Hertford Food and Drink Festival weekend, Hertford Town Council presents the Hertford Castle Beer & World Food Festival. An afternoon filled with worldly tastes and live music.
With a large beer tent, offering a variety of local and national beers, ales, and ciders, a dedicated Gin & Prosecco area, and over fifteen world food stalls there is something for everyone to sample and enjoy.
The Castle will be open for the public to explore.
Hertford Castle’s Teddy Bears’ Picnic
Sunday 23rd July
12pm – 4pm
Hertford Town Council warmly welcomes families and friends to attend the annual Teddy Bears’ Picnic.
Pack your picnic basket and bring along your favourite teddy for a day of fun and adventure at Hertford Castle, including a bear hunt inside the castle, games, and activities around the grounds, plus the annual Teddy Bear’s parade led and judged by the Mayor of Hertford.
A live brass band concert will perform throughout the day, Hertford Canoe Club will be running water activities on the River Lea and Hertford Castle will be open for the public to explore.
Hertford Play Day
Wednesday 2nd August
11am – 4pm
Hertford Town Centre will be filled with child-friendly activities, games, promotions and events throughout the day, most of which are free of charge to enjoy.
Rock at the Castle
Sunday 6th August
12.30pm – 7pm
Get ready to rock the Castle at our annual music festival set within the spectacular grounds of Hertford Castle.
Performances by local musicians will span across three stages featuring a wide range of genres including acoustic, folk, indie, rock, soul, and pop music influences.
Plus, food and drink stalls and activities for all the family to enjoy.
Hertford Castle Open Air Cinema
Friday 18th August
Film choices to be confirmed
Enjoy a day of movie magic at Hertford Castle’s Day of Open-Air Cinema screenings with a family friendly daytime showing and then an evening film perfect for a gathering of friends or a special date night.
Guests can bring along picnic chairs, and snacks and sit back to relax and enjoy the movies. Refreshments will also be available from our traders. Previous showings have all sold out so tickets must be purchased in advance.
Tickets £4 per person
Under 2’s FREE
Film starts at 2pm & 7pm
Tickets £8 per person
Tickets can be purchased online at www.hertford.gov.uk/events or from the Town & Tourist Information Centre closer to the time of the event.
Hertford Castle Heritage Day
Sunday 10th September
12pm – 4pm
As part of the national Heritage Open Days weekend, Hertford Town Council hosts its annual Hertford Castle Heritage Day event.
The castle grounds will be transformed for the day and will include a small settlement of interactive medieval encampments on the main lawn, including a programme of entertainment such as fire breathing, falconry flying displays, storytelling, and even re-enactment battle scenes.
Low-cost activities include face painting and archery, plus food and drink stalls.
The Castle will be open for visitors to explore.
Hertford Castle Open Day - Guided Tours
Sunday 29th October
12pm – 4pm
Hertford Castle will be open for you to explore the Castle rooms, including the Mayor's Parlour, Robing room, and the themed basement, giving insight into the historic Grade 1 listed building, with volunteers on hand to impart historical knowledge.
Tours will operate every 30 mins from 12 pm, with the last tour at 3.30 pm. To join a tour please sign up on the day for an allocated time slot at the Hertford Castle Conservatory. Entry will be on a first-come-first-served basis.
Please note the building is not suitable for wheelchairs, prams, or anyone with restricted mobility due to stairs.
Hertford Christmas Gala
Friday 24th November
3.30pm – 8pm
The Hertford Christmas Gala is an annual favourite event with locals and visitors to the county town. The Gala evening includes Christmas markets throughout the town, live entertainment on stage, street entertainment and costume characters, fairground rides, and the famous Christmas tree light switch on.
Retailers will be offering free goodies and samples, discounts, and instore entertainment throughout the weekend.
In addition, the Hertford Castle Christmas Market is back for 2023 from Friday 24th – Sunday 26th November, set in the Hertford Castle grounds.
Hertford Castle Christmas Market
Friday 24th, Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th November
Friday Opening Hours 3.30pm – 8pm
Saturday Opening Hours 11am – 6pm
Sunday Opening Hours 11am – 5pm
Set within the beautiful Hertford Castle grounds the event boasts an array of Christmas market stalls offering homeware, crafts, jewellery, and much more! Perfect for those who like to shop early and local for Christmas.
In addition, there will be fairground rides and live entertainment to enjoy, and food and drink stands providing seasonal treats.