A host of organisations and community groups have embraced plans to celebrate Croydon’s heritage, hosting a wide range of events during the three-week festival which runs from Monday 3 June to Sunday 23 June 2013.

There really is something for everyone with a diverse programme of events featuring talks and tours; exhibitions and displays; family and children’s events; film and photography; food and drink; and theatre, music and arts. A full calendar of events can now be found at www.croydonheritagefestival.co.uk

The highlight of the Festival will be Croydon Heritage Day, which takes place in North End in the town centre on Saturday 8 June from 11am to 4pm.
This will include activity suitable for all age groups including a chance for adults and children to dress up in period fancy dress and win prizes, as well as learn more from the town’s experts about some of the fascinating history of our unique and colourful borough.

Two of the town’s most historical landmarks, the Whitgift Almshouses and the Croydon Minster will be open to the public for tours.

Other entertainment and activities will include street entertainers, live music and heritage society displays and information.

Children and young people are being encouraged to get involved in the Festival through the Croydon Heritage Challenge by collecting special stickers at events throughout the Festival as well as a fancy dress and an artwork competition. All prizes have been donated courtesy of local organisations including gift cards from Centrale and the Whitgift Centre and family tickets to see this year’s pantomime courtesy of the Fairfield Halls. A competition entry card can be collected from Croydon Visitor Centre, Croydon Central Library, and other prominent town centre venues during the Festival.

Martin Corney, chief executive of The Whitgift Foundation, said: “We have been overwhelmed by the support of the Croydon community in helping us to stage so many events during the Croydon’s first ever Heritage Festival.

“This unprecedented support underlines the desire in the community to celebrate everything that’s great about Croydon and The Whitgift Foundation, a charity that has been committed to Croydon for more than 400 years, is proud to be able to deliver a programme which really does feature something for everyone.

“As well as being a celebration of the town’s heritage, the Festival provides us all with an opportunity to demonstrate our passion for Croydon and to help to raise the reputation of the town to a wider audience.

“It is a great opportunity to remind everyone of why we should be proud of our town and is providing people with a great platform to promote their organisations.
“We would like to thank all of our Festival partners for making this possible and hope that people will take this opportunity to find out more about Croydon’s heritage and enjoy some of the wonderful events on offer.”

The programme will culminate with the South End Food Festival,  which will highlight the Croydon Restaurant Quarter’s amazing array of global cuisine.