Big smiles at Festival of Stars

Published: Friday September 17, 2021


Photos from a fabulous day out

Drumbeats, dog shows and selfie contests brought smiles to the faces of the crowds at Whaddon Recreational Land with the annual Festival of Stars.

Here are some of the highlights of the day, run by the Cheltenham Christian Arts Festival.

Nicki Seville, the organiser, said, “People from all the communities wither side of the Whaddon Recreational Land poured in. Community groups needing volunteers for their organisations met new people and hugged friends they’d not seen for 18 months.”

A lineup of acts including Rob Westall, Katy Treharne from Phantom of the Opera, Chip Kendall with Orbitron, Folk On and Dave Wellington provided musical entertainment.

The sporty and not so sporty were encouraged to have a go at The Rock’s football penalty shoot out, and Open the Book had a hand-eye coordination challenge using ping pong balls.

Local primary school children came along to see a theatrical performance called Elmer’s Walk, by Riverside Performing Arts and teenagers were queuing to take part in the open mic event.

It was a great day for spotting talent, with the first and second prizes in the open mic going to girls under the age of 16. Young people showed off the skills they had learned in their Cornerstone holiday workshops with Afrobeats with drumming and new dance moves.

And one of the biggest hits of the day was the selfie competition – children and young people had to spot the stars and post a selfie of themselves holding up their finds. The winning selfie showed a lineup of lost children waiting to be collected!

Nikki added, “We couldn’t have managed it without our team of smiling stewards ensuring festival-goers were made warmly welcome, and the tech crew, ably led by Dave Hughes, who were key in making the stage, sound and lighting run smoothly.”

The next event by the Christian Arts Festival is the exhibition Messages of Hope for our World which is part of Cheltenham Open Studios, from 25 September to 3 October. Visit for more information.


A blonde lady holding up a fluffy, white haired dog

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