Two World-Class Bank Holiday Events coming to Cheltenham and surrounding area ….
April is a busy month for Bank Holidays and Big Events and nowhere is this more felt than in Cheltenham, the perfect destination for a weekend break. The Cheltenham Festival Races may be over for another year, but the city shall soon be hosting the annual Jazz Festival from 27th April until 2nd May with its regular line up of high-profile stars from the international jazz scene (The American supergroup Overtone Quartet) as well as the best of British talent (Mercury Prize nominee Kit Downes). For the second year Jamie Cullen shall be the guest director of a diverse programme, including many free events, which can be heard at various venues right across town from the Town Hall to the Everyman Theatre, as well as live jazz performances and after-hours jams in many restaurants, bars and clubs. Celebrate the Royal Wedding at the ultimate street party at Jazz on the Square, where you can eat, drink and shop at the Jazz Market whilst listening to the music of jazz superstars and rising stars. The Festival will be closed by none other than star of the television series, House, Hugh Laurie, who will be making his UK musical debut just prior to the release of his first blues album.
Slightly further afield, the other big event this month are the Badminton Horse Trials which run over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend from Thursday 21st – Monday 25th April. Widely hailed as the world’s greatest 3-day-event, the tiny village of Badminton (just 35 minutes from Cheltenham) plays host to the biggest names in eventing (including last year’s winner Paul Tapner and William Fox-Pitt, one of Britain’s most successful events riders of all time) as well as crowds of up to 250,000 on the cross country day. But you don’t have to be passionate about horses – the chance to spot celebrities and picnic in splendid surroundings are all part of the attraction. And then there’s the shopping, which gets bigger and better every year, and in 2011 there’s also an extra day’s shopping, with the tradestands open from Thursday until to Monday. The shopping extravaganza includes all the big names in horsey and outdoor gear, but there are also toys, clothes, jewellery, and art as well as champagne bars, beer and cider tents and even a nightclub overlooking the lake.