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Grantham’s Gravity Fields Festival lines up Britain’s first astronaut Helen Sharman for appearance

Gravity Fields Festival in 2016
Gravity Fields Festival in 2016

Britain’s first astronaut Helen Sharman, an all-female circus, and a hanging moon inside St Wulfram’s Church are planned as part of this year’s Gravity Fields festival.

South Kesteven District council, which is part-funding the event, revealed some of the planned attractions to the Grantham Business Club last week.

This would be the fourth year SKDC has contributed to the blend of arts, culture, tourism and fireworks, with the Arts Council also expected to again confirm further funding.

Gravity Fields attracted 68,000 people last year, including 20,000 to the town centre on the Saturday night. SKDC says the festival generated £724,424 for the local economy, helped by those visitors, including 2,108 staying overnight.

This year’s spectacular, to run from September 26 to 30, promises more than 100 events across Grantham town centre, its churches, schools and colleges, plus Woolsthorpe Manor, the birthplace of Sir Isaac Newton.

Staged to celebrate the area’s links to Newton, top scientists are also expected at the popular event.

Creative Producer Simon Hollingsworth also told the meeting he was “pretty sure” Britain’s first astronaut Helen Sharman will be giving a talk at The Meres centre. Other top scientists include Prof Val Gibson, Rob Iliffe and Dallas Campbell. Plans also include the all-women Exploding Circus show, a pop-up plantarium in the Guildhall, an LED light festival in front of the Guildhall, subject to funding, and a large moon hanging in St Wulfram’s Church, which would also be encircled by a ‘garden of fire.’ An auditorium double-decker bus will also take people around town.

A July 7 science event, including a “first teenage” market on St Peter’s Hill, would also take place in Grantham to promote the September festival, which also promised workshops and other events to promote interest in science for children.


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