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Burgess Hill’s Summer Festival Festival kicks off in fine style on Saturday 4 June with a chance to handle exotic reptiles and other creatures at Wild About Mid Sussex in the Festival Marquee in St John’s Park.  Combine your visit with a stroll across the park to the French Market in the town centre and stock up on an array of Gallic goodies. On Saturday evening the Festival Marquee hosts a Motown Night plus a tribute to Bruno Mars with live performance by singer Albie J. 
On Sunday 5 June the Festival Marquee will be busy with children’s entertainer Robbie the Magician, followed by a relaxed afternoon of Classics in the Park with Burgess Hill Symphony Orchestra and an evening of Jazz in the Marquee with acclaimed musician Herbie Flowers and his band. 
During the Festival week the under 5s will have fun at the Teddy Bears Picnic in St John’s Park, take part in gym based activities with the NCT and enjoy songs, rhymes and stories at a variety of free events at the Library.
Activities for older children and young people include Robot Wars style combat with Amazing Funcars radio controlled model cars, an extended board games session at the Library, a Comic Art Masterclass with writer and artist Kev F Sutherland, and a Shakespearean drama workshop with a difference led by Burgess Hill Theatre Club’s workshop leader Kim Enticknap.
The more active can take part in Burgess Hill Bike Ride and Festival walks, try free Boules and Tennis taster sessions or learn some Flamenco dance moves with tutor Josefa Figuera.  
Admire the handiwork of local artists throughout the Festival at the Weald of Sussex Art Exhibition at St John’s Church, Inspirational Watercolours at Walkway Café and Burgess Hill Artists Exhibition at The Woolpack with an opportunity to Meet the Artists on 10 June. A Photography Exhibition by members of Mid Sussex Camera Club will also feature photographs from Creon Camera Club in Bordeaux.
There are plenty of opportunities to explore your own creativity at a range of workshops including Mosaic Making for children and adults, Victorian Wax Flower Making, Reverse Glass Painting, and Painting and Collage. If you fancy trying your hand at metalwork, modelling, cabinet making or other crafts, drop in to Meet the Shedders at the Burgess Hill Shed open event. 
There will be a variety of music on offer during the Festival with a chance to see one of Ireland’s greatest entertainers, Dominic Kirwan in concert with top vocalist Lisa Stanley. Plus Showtime with Double Duos, a Magical Musical Tour with All the Right Notes community choir and Act Too’s annual showcase production of Oliver! 
Festival talks include a look at the criminal mind in fact and fiction with top crime-fiction writers William Shaw and PD Viner and a talk on the fascinating Art of Taxidermy with ethical taxidermist Jazmine Miles-Long. Plus talks on the independent Kingdom of Sussex by historian and author Rupert Matthews and insights into A Head Gardener’s Year by Mark Saunders, Head Gardener at Fittleworth House. 
You can find out how to become a radio operator - with the possibility of talking to the radio amateur on the International Space Station – when Mid Sussex Amateur Radio Society opens its doors for the evening. Older residents will enjoy a Jolly at St John’s with a day of entertainment and activities, and you can Meet the Ancestors with experts from the Library Service to provide help and advice on researching your family history online.
The Summer Festival is celebrating the return of Jay Millers Circus on their 30th Anniversary Tour, with a brand new show of talented performers to keep you entertained and amazed. 
The final Festival weekend includes a free afternoon of live Rock, Pop and Brit Pop at the ever popular Party in the Park, followed by a day of fun for all the family at the traditional Summer Fayre at St John’s Park on Sunday 11 June. An evening of comedy at The Woolpack, featuring two top comedians and hosted by stand-up comedian and TV presenter Miles Crawford, will close the Festival.  
The Summer Festival programme is available from Burgess Hill Town Council’s Help Point, Burgess Hill Library and other community venues around the town.  The full programme can also be viewed on the Town Council’s website