PREPARATIONS are well under way to make this year's Wokingham Festival the best yet.

What started out five years ago as a food and drink festival over one weekend is now due to become a month long cultural festival throughout August with new attractions including an open air cinema and a beer festival.

Kate Lole, who is organising the event on Elms Field in the town centre along with Stan Hetherington, said: "It's just a really good, fun community and family event. It has got a lovely continental feel." The festival season will start on Friday, August 5, with the Wokingham Summer Charity Glitter Ball at Cantley House Hotel (for tickets email Maurice Monk at Then on Saturday, August 20, there will be a free big screen film showing thanks to Wilson Bowden Developments and David Wilson Homes.

Visitors will be encouraged to bring picnics or buy popcorn for a family-friendly blockbuster as well as short films by local filmmakers.

The main festival weekend will be from Friday-Sunday, August 26-28, when there will be two large marquees with 50 food and drink exhibitors.

There will also be a demonstration theatre and Round the World Restaurant with continental-style trestle tables.

For the first time, there will be an area with tips on matching food and drink, and a beer festival with about 30 brews, run by the Wokingham Lions.

Anyone interested in sponsoring it can contact Mr Hetherington via There will also more than 30 musical acts performing, including Rock Choir, Savour the Flavour, Adam Smith and The Wonder Years choir. Younger visitors can take part in craft activities organised by Hobbycraft, watch magic shows or have their faces painted in the Children's Corner.

Exhibitors and supporters were invited to Cantley Lodge Hotel in Wokingham on Thursday last week to a launch event to hear about the plans.

The festival is supported by org-anisations including Wokingham Town Council, Loch Fyne restaurant, Miltons restaurant at Cantley House Hotel, Virgin Active, TradeMark Windows, Hobbycraft, Rapid Hire Centres and moneymaxim.

Entry will be £2.50 for adults who attend the festival during the day or £5 for those who arrive for the evening performances. Children can enter for free.

More events may be added. See