Taking our best to the USA
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