A DALES festival celebrating music and art is offering free family outdoor events in Reeth over the second May bank holiday weekend.

Swaledale Festival is offering three days of outdoor workshops and activities, including kite-making, dance performances, samba bands, a singing workshop with The Young'uns, brass band concerts and quoits. There is no need to book – just turn up.

On Saturday, May 29 there will be kite-flying and kite-making workshops for children, evocative sounds from Reeth Brass Band, and dancing from Richmond Cloggers and students from Janet Seymour’s School of Theatre Dance. There will also be a performance by the superb Pneûma Dance Company with live musicians.

Kite-making and kite-flying will be back on Sunday, May 30, along with performances throughout the day by the outstanding Runaway Samba drummers. There will be a singing workshop led by folk superstars The Young’uns and some soothing music from Leyburn Brass Band.

Monday, May 31 will see more kite-making, the fabulous north-east samba band Baque De Ogum and music from folk fiddler Jo Lawrence & Friends.

Malcolm Creese, Swaledale Festival’s artistic director, says: “After all the cancellations of 2020, we are so pleased to be able to offer some world-class music, dance and art this year. We have introduced stringent measures to keep our audiences safe, and we look forward to welcoming people of all ages to enjoy some art and culture in the Dales once again."

Quoits for absolute beginners and experienced players will take place on all three days, and there is an exhibition of paintings by the talented Wensleydale artist Eithne Henson at the Hudson House Gallery.

There will be additional parking down the hill in Grinton on all three days. Visit www.swalefest.org for details about events.

In addition to the free Family Fun Weekend, there are two ticketed performances from The Young’uns on Sunday, May 30 at 4pm and 7.30pm at The Garden Rooms at Tennants, Leyburn. The three folk singers from Stockton will enchant us with their haunting songs and captivating stories of North East characters, and life in general. Tickets are available for both performances on the Swaledale Festival website.

Another Swaledale Festival offering for 2021 sees the talented young ‘scratch card’ artist James Owen Thomas exhibit his intricate and highly coloured pictures and greeting cards at The Station Gallery in Richmond (28 May to 17 June). James highlights issues of ecology and the environment by turning other people’s discarded items into expressive artworks. He says: “If it can encourage and inspire people to re-use and recycle, then hopefully we can look forward to a more environmentally-friendly future.”