Four days of arts, culture, music and more will be highlighting the very best of Kettering this weekend.
KettFest will show off the positive art, music, culture and more of the town, to draw people in to explore what Kettering has to offer.
The festival runs from Friday, June 5, to Monday, June 8, at locations dotted around the town centre and beyond.
Dozens of different activities and events have been lined up by the organisers, who simply want to put Kettering in a different light.
Jo Selby-Green, one of the festival’s organisers, said: “This is the first time anything like this has been done in the town.
“We don’t know how many visitors it will draw in, or from how far away.
We’re really hoping that people won’t sit at home, but get up and go around the town to see what’s happening.Organiser Jo Selby-Green
“We’re hoping it’s going to be big though and that everyone will have a good time and come away having learned something new.
“It all started after a several of us read comments that were quite negative online about Kettering, and a few of us said let’s do a festival to promote the town.
“People are wanting to find out about what goes on in the town.
“People who have lived here years might not know about some of the things we’ve uncovered while putting this together.”
The festival starts on Friday with family entertainment, a talk on the history of horror, DJs, wine tasting, art, yarn bombing and more.
On Saturday there is free parking in all Kettering Council car parks and dozens of different events and activities taking place across 27 venues.
In High Street and Market Place visitors can enjoy flash opera, hula hoop workshops, browse a teen market, bump into a life model, watch a fire show, track down the orphaned teddy bears, or even take a lesson in burlesque.
And from 5.30pm there will be a big screen showing a local film festival followed by the classic ET The Extra Terrestrial at 6pm.
Elsewhere in the town are creative writing workshops, live music, a fossil exhibition, fashion show and more.
In the evening you can go along to an open decks night, a spoken word event, a soul and motown night, or enjoy comedy at the Kettering Arts Centre.
Special KettFest biscuits, sausages, and beer have all been created for the event.
Jo said: “The thing for me what’s special is the connections we’re making between the art and cultural events and the businesses here.
“So an obvious one is that there’ll be a burlesque performer in Confidante Lingerie, we’ll also have someone in an interior design shop sitting on a chair.
“They’ll be life models dotted around and more.
“It’s about getting people into Kettering to see what we have culturally, and then getting them to visit the shops and businesses we have here as well.
“We’re really hoping that people won’t sit at home, but get up and go around the town to see what’s happening.
“It’s about people taking ownership of the town for themselves.”
The events continue on Sunday with a schools sculpture trail, hula hooping, and an open artist’s studio at Wicksteed Park, plus introduction to skateboarding sessions at the Ise Lodge Skate Park, and a community picnic and entertainment at the Rockingham Road Pleasure Park, a tea party at the Quaker Meeting House and Garden, and even more.
The festival comes to an end on Monday with the schools sculpture trail.
Jo said: “There are some really good positive things that people are quietly getting on with in Kettering, and as a bit of a rebellion against those who are always negative about the town, we want to show them off.
“I hope that people coming to Kettering over the weekend will see the energy of the local people, and the novelty in what they’re doing.
“Some people have preconceptions about the town and we’re trying to change that and make it cheerful in more ways that one.
“We’re promoting what is positive about Kettering and putting this town in a new light.”
Full details about what will be happening and where are available online.
A printed programme of all the events is also available from the Newlands Shopping Centre, Kafe Bloc, the library and the station, plus copies will be delivered to homes throughout the town.