Tak­ing our best to the USA

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - ROUNDABOUT -

SOME 40 peo­ple from Kent are head­ing for a 10-day fes­ti­val in Amer­ica to rep­re­sent the part the county played in the area’s cul­tural roots and to show what it has to of­fer to­day.

The group were cho­sen by or­gan­is­ers of the Smith­so­nian Folk­life Fes­ti­val, which will be held be­tween the Capi­tol Build­ing and Wash­ing­ton Mon­u­ment in Wash­ing­ton DC be­tween June 27 and July 8.

The themes they will be rep­re­sent­ing in­clude tourism, agri­cul­ture, build­ings arts, food, gar­dens, mar­itime tra­di­tions and mu­sic and sto­ry­telling.

The Kent group is made up of peo­ple from across the county, who have been cho­sen for their knowl­edge, ex­per­tise and skills for all sorts of as­pects of Ken­tish tra­di­tions.

Rep­re­sent­ing agri­cul­ture and en­ter­prise will be Marc and Tony Steven­son from Bethers­den com­pany Steven­son Brothers.

Mo Joslin and Amanda Cot­trell, who are keen ad­vo­cates of Pro­duced in Kent, will be pro­mot­ing the county’s food.

Can­ter­bury Cathe­dral stone­ma­sons Jim Han­ford and Ben Swin­field, with stained glass re­storer and artist Keith and Judy Hill, and build­ing restora­tion ex­pert Peter Massey from Westen­hanger Cas­tle near Folkestone will be pro­mot­ing the county’s his­toric ar­chi­tec­ture.

Ken Thomas, a fish­er­man from Dun­geness, and Chatham His­tory Dock­yard rep­re­sen­ta­tives will be pro­mot­ing the county’s mar­itime tra­di­tions.

Mu­sic and sto­ry­telling will be pro­moted by the Millen Fam­ily, a har­mony group per­form­ing tra­di­tional Ken­tish farm­ing songs; folksinger and sto­ry­teller Pete Cas­tle; mu­si­cian Dave Arthur and a group who have adapted Vita Sackville-West’s poem The Land, in­spired by Siss­inghurst Cas­tle, will also be go­ing.

For de­tails of the event, ex­pected to be at­tended by more than a mil­lion vis­i­tors, visit www.kent.gov.uk/smith­so­nian

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