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Youngsters from two local schools are stepping up to the challenge of taking part in a special performance to launch this year’s BookFest.

The week-long book festival for children and families in Darlington will take place 2-7 March, and Darlington Libraries staff have teamed up with Darlington Academy of Performing Arts (DAPA) to work with pupils at Springfield Academy and Corporation Road School.

Over the next few weeks, DAPA will run weekly workshops in school where the pupils will gain confidence in performance, song and dance culminating in a special show, entitled ‘Imagination’.

The children will then perform ‘Imagination’ in front of an audience at Darlington Libraries’ Crown Street Library on Saturday 29 February, to launch BookFest. They will then be invited to enjoy a family-friendly music gig featuring The Hootones.

Suzy Hill, Library Events Manager, said:

“This is the second year we’ve hosted BookFest, a week-long extravaganza with free, fun events for children age two to 16. We have an exciting programme on offer, including live music, children’s theatre, author and illustrator workshops and a whole lot more.

“As part of last year’s event, local schoolchildren were invited to help decorate our fabulous book benches and we wanted to make sure they had a chance to get really involved again this year. We can’t wait to see their performance of Imagination and are looking forward to welcoming even more children and their families to this year’s BookFest.”

The BookFest programme of events include:

  • Madam Dragon’s Training School – Monday 2 March – 10.30-11.30am an 1.30-2.30pm, for 2-5 year olds
  • Story Box Workshop – Monday 2 March – 10am-noon, for adults only (parents, grandparents and carers)
  • Interactive Storytelling with Adam Bushnell – Tuesday 3 March – 4-5pm, for 4-6 year olds
  • Sewing Pictures with Memories – Wednesday 4 March – 10am-12.30pm, an adult only workshop
  • Teens and Tweens Evening – Wednesday 4 March – 6-8pm, for 11-16 year olds
  • Princess Party (for World Book Day) – Thursday 5 March – 10-10.45am, for 2-4 year olds
  • Superhero Show (for World Book Day) – Thursday 5 March – 11-11.45am, for 2-4 year olds
  • The Night Pirates with Imagine Me – Friday 6 March – 10-10.45am, for 2-4 year olds
  • Emergency with Imagine Me – Friday 6 March – 11-11.45am, for 2-4 year olds
  • Big Goldilocks and the Three Bears Children’s Theatre – Saturday 7 March – 10.30-11.20am, for ages 4 and above
  • Little Red Riding Hood and Friends Children’s Theatre – Saturday 7 March – 1-1.50pm, for ages 4 and above
  • Liz Million and Paul Cookson present ‘There’s a crocodile in the house” – Saturday 7 March – 1-2pm, for ages 5 and above.
  • Big Little Gig: The Beatles Unplugged – Saturday 7 March – 4.30-5.30pm, for children and families of all ages.A schools’ programme will also run alongside the festival featuring author talks, illustration sessions and creative writing workshops.

All BookFest sessions are FREE however booking is required in advance. All events are at Darlington Libraries’ Crown Street Library. For more information please ring: 01325 349610 Tickets are available via Eventbritehttps://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/darlington-libraries-18574745382

To find out more about events at Darlington Libraries pop into the library, call 01325 349610 or log onto www2.darlington.gov.uk. You can also follow us on Facebook @DarlingtonLibraries or on Twitter @DarlLibs