MIDDLEWICH FAB Festival has received high-profile backing as the town prepares to welcome thousands of visitors to this year’s jam-packed event.
Organisers have announced that Jack's supermarket off Wheelock Street is the latest business to come onboard as a sponsor of this year’s crowd-pulling 29th annual event taking place June 13-16.
The store, owned by supermarket giant Tesco and named after founder Jack Cohen, opened its doors in Middlewich last year and is currently the only Jack's premises in Cheshire.
The 2019 Middlewich FAB Festival will also see the launch of a new partnership with Macclesfield-based Shackleford Pianos giving budding musicians the chance to show off their talent - and secure a performance slot at next year's event.
Another first for this year's festival is a rooftop cocktail bar on the main Market Field so visitors can enjoy their summer drinks in style.
The town council-organised event, which has become the most popular date on the Middlewich social calendar, sees chart-topping Dancing in the Moonlight band Toploader and 70s pop legends Showaddywaddy headlining the main stage.
Middlewich Town Council Events Manager Dave Thompson said: "The countdown is on and we can't wait to welcome thousands of visitors to Middlewich and to have the chance to showcase our fabulous town and waterways.
"We always want to go one better than the year before and with a host of top music acts and attractions lined up for 2019 we're hopeful this will be our best yet.
"This year we've received wonderful support from businesses in Middlewich and further afield, and we're delighted to add Jack's Supermarket to our list of sponsors.
"Their sponsorship is greatly appreciated, and we look forward to working with them in the future.
“We've also established a new new partnership with Shackleford Pianos who contacted us to see if they could come along and promote what they do.
"We came up with the idea of having the piano in the festival bar where people can come along and play. We'll film them all and the one with the most hits will be invited to come back and perform next year."
Jack’s Middlewich store manager Matthew Eggerton said: “We are incredibly proud to be sponsoring this year’s event. We always want to have a positive impact in the communities we serve, we look forward to seeing plenty of customers down there enjoying themselves.”
Aaron Shackleford, director of Shackleford Pianos, said: "We try to help out local festivals and events as much as possible. We approached Middlewich FAB Festival because we know it's well received.
"Inviting people to come and play and show what they can do is a great idea. We've done something similar before at an event in Buxton and it was a success.
"The piano we're sending to Middlewich is what we call the 'party piano'. It's painted pink and yellow and is very attractive to look at.
"It plays very well and will look the part inside the bar. I'm sure it will prove popular."
As well as Toploader and Showaddywaddy, acclaimed singer-songwriter Emma Stevens, electro swing band Electric Swing Circus and Macclesfield-based rock duo The Virginmarys, are among a string of top artists set to wow the crowds, along with special guest on Sunday, Chris Jagger.
Overseas artists this year come from Africa, Canada, Russia and Sweden.
There will be fun for all the family at the festival with Professor Panic’s Family Circus, bringing their ‘big top’ to the Market Field on June 15 and 16, while Hollands Funfair will be on Civic Way car park for the course of the weekend.
There will be plenty more for children and families to enjoy with games, crafts, stalls, ice cream and glitter face painting by Wish Upon A Sparkle, as well as the Greenhayes Farm Roadshow.
It’s going to be food and drink galore for visitors with the return of the Food Court on Market Field boasting a variety of tasty delights including Mexican Street Food, doughnuts, halloumi fries, hog roast, pizzas, Spanish churro’s, sandwiches and toasties.
All that can be washed down at the FAB Beer Festival on Market Field, celebrating the real ales of Cheshire with award winning Merlin Brewery, or at the new Wines & Spirits Bar by the Old Mule Bar.
The event will also play host to cocktail, gin and prosecco bars so every taste is catered for whatever your tipple.
The revamped Kinderton returns to the fringe this year with live music and entertainment all weekend, while the FAB Ceilidh with Aardvark will take place at the Town Hall Function Suite on June 15 at 8pm.
‘The Busking Bus’ by St Luke’s Hospice can be found at Town Wharf where entertainers and musicians will perform from 12noon on Saturday-Sunday. People can also make donations to the hospice during the festival.
Also, on the agenda is The FAB Parade (Saturday 11am from Jacks car park) led by the Rajasthan Brass Band, street artists and Morris dancers. The Festival Praise Service by Middlewich Churches Together is on Sunday 11am on Market Field.
Also, sure to be a splash hit is the Floating Market between Town Bridge and the Big Lock from 10am every day and a Boat Rally which will see a colourful flotilla of narrowboats descend on Middlewich.
There will be boat trips (from Town Wharf) each day on Saturday and Sunday from 12noon with the Canals and Rivers Trust, and Canalside crafts and stalls on Salinae and Town Wharf sites.
Official FAB Fringe venues this year are The Big Lock, Boars Head Hotel, Cheshire Cheese, The Kinderton, The Kings Lock, The Narrowboat, Newton Brewery Inn and The White Bear.
As well as Jack's this year's sponsors include Alpha Omega, Andersen Boats, Bailey Audio, Cagna Contractors, Carpet Unit Middlewich, Cliff Dickenson & Son, Coates Middlewich, County Power, DJ Latham Joinery Services, Family Legal, Howard Worth Accountants, JAC Plumbing, Martin Shaw Roofing, Mantraco Landscapes, Neuro-Muscular Centre, ROK Plumbing Supplies, Town Bridge Motors, Little & Large Skips and The Heart of Cheshire.
For more information on the festival times and venues see the programme available freely in local outlets, Social Media or the website www.fabfestival.co.uk