The Bearsden Festival kicks off on Friday, May 10, with a sell-out grand opening night at Bearsden Academy.
Around 250 people are expected to attend to enjoy music, art and food as well as a preview of the 10 days of festival fun to come.
The opening will see the winners of four categories of Community Award receiving a trophy designed by local glass artist Elizabeth Lloyd Kelly, along with a voucher from the Burnbrae restaurant.
Audrey Bennie of the judging panel, said: “This is a great way to celebrate the work of volunteers in the community and it has been difficult to choose from the wonderful stories of dedication and hard work we have received.
“We all owe a big thanks to everyone who was nominated and to the winners on the night.”
With 40 events lined up, the festival aims to offer something for everyone.
Everything is free except for the big fundraising dinner on Friday, May 17, with chef and comedian Hardeep Singh Kohli in the kitchen and on stage to raise funds for East Dunbartonshire Association for Mental Health. There are a few tickets left.
Trish Robertson, Festival Co-ordinator, said: “We set out to bring the subject of mental health out in the open, to see different perspectives, talk to each other, and learn a bit more about what’s going on in the community.
“We have been blown away by the interest, both while we were planning this, and in terms of tickets taken. We’re running a waiting list for 10 events and have had to change settings and put on extra sessions to try to meet demand. This says a lot for the importance of mental health to people, and the value of bringing everyone together to connect with each other.”
Local schools have been getting in on the act, with Mosshead Primary the first providing art work exploring wellbeing as well as poetry about kindness. Look out for the colourful creations popping up in shop windows and halls around town over the next fortnight. An addition to the programme is an art exhibitio running through the festival at Bearsden Baptist Church, featuring work of artists Brisbane Taylor and Jane Roy around the subjects of dementia and mental health.
This Saturday, the big event is Showdown time, a scratch choir event with rehearsals for adults and children in the afternoon, with an evening concert at 7pm at New Kilpatrick Church. There is a buddy scheme for anyone needing some help to join in.See www.bearsdenfestival.org.