For the past few months I've had the opportunity to work with a great group of small business owners on a community event here on Walcot Street in Bath. For those of you unfamiliar with Bath and the Walcot area, it has a long history of irreverence and was once the high street of old Roman Bath. Anchored at one end by the Cattle Market and Corn Exchange and a small round-a-bout at the other which was once where all Roman roads merged to Bath. There is a lot to love about this street both historically and in it's present form and I was so thrilled to be able to open A Yarn Story on Walcot Street.
Walcot Winterfest was born out of a desire to bring the community together and remind both Bathonians and visitors that a strong presence of independent businesses thrive here on Walcot Street. It's easy to stick to the glitzy high street chains that are prolific throughout our city centers and on many a high street this is all that is left. Fortunately Bath is full of independent shops, restaurants and businesses and Walcot has the quirkiest of the bunch. Known as the Artisan Quarter many creative businesses reside here, including several artist's studios, a stationers specializing in letter press and hand calligraphy, a glass blower, a weaver's studio and such much more.
I could go on about my love for this fabulous street and how it has been fabulous to get a chance to work with so many talented and enthusiastic entrepreneurs but I'll instead tell you what will be happening this weekend during the (first annual) Walcot Winterfest.
The weekend kicks of with Foodie Friday and many of the street eateries will be showing off their best starting at 4pm. We have a special event at the Walcot Chapel, which we've turned into a Piano Bar with food served by special guest Burgers & Barrels. Sam's Kitchen is pulling out all the stops with an on street grill of whole lamb shoulder, flat bread, tzatziki and a halloumi option for vegetarians. The street will be filled with music by local performers and several of the local pubs have special musical acts planned for Friday night.
Saturday is Small Shop Saturday with special offers and late night shopping. There is a Secret Winter Cinema planned at Nexus Methodist Church, a film for the whole family is promised (hint: it won't be Frozen). Face Painting, calligraphy tattoos and a photo booth will be fun for the whole family as well. I'm excited to see the new exhibition by Fringe Arts Bath opening this weekend as well, it's a long term collaboration between art and science students at Bath University and Bath College and it sounds amazing. They've also got some spectacular light projects planned.
Artisan Sunday is all about showcasing the talented crafts people along the street. Many shops, including A Yarn Story, will be open on Sunday from 11 - 4pm and many will be hosting demonstrations and mini workshops. We will be hosting a drop spindle demo from 12 - 2pm where you can come along and give the ancient art of spinning yarn a try. This is open to children and adults and is a free event.
Lastly, you can get to know Walcot with a fun scavenger hunt, it's on the back of the Walcot Winterfest programs and there is a larger hamper of items from Walcot businesses to be won. Light, fire, music and general festive cheer will also be available in abundance this weekend and that is actually my favorite part. It's been a rough few months in the world and I know many of you, myself included, are feeling a bit down or depleted in the aftermath which is why its all the more reason to get together with your community and support those close to to you.
Hope to see some of you this weekend, I know for many Bath is maybe a bit too far to journey to but I wish you too a weekend of joy and celebration.