Newark jam-packed with events this spring and summer

Posted on: Tuesday, March 26, 2024

This year is set to be a busy one in Newark with a whole host of events set to take place in the market town over the next few months. From Artisan Markets to the CAMRA Beer Festival and ‘Race to the Castle’ (a paddle board event) to the popular Steampunk Festival, there’s lots for families and friends to get involved with.

One of the first of many events this spring is Small Business Showcase on Saturday 27 April between 10am until 3pm which will see the upstairs area of the Buttermarket host a wide range of local independent businesses, all offering a taste of their unique services, including the option to buy and try goods and pick up some discounts, plus Radio Newark will be broadcasting their Saturday show at the event. In Newark we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to local independent businesses and this event plans to celebrate some of their work as they showcase their wonderful services all under one roof in this one-off special event.

Businesses attending include Gannets who have been providing great coffee and fabulous food in the town since 1978, the popular Crumbly Bun with their stunning cakes and treats, Beau and Brooke with their ever-changing treasure trove of curios for home and garden and many more!

Also, in Newark on Saturday 27 April will be a gigantic 15m inflatable whale! The whale will be docked in Newark marketplace. Inside the grey sperm whale lies a theatre space accommodating up to 30 people. Theatre company Circo Rum Ba Ba will be using the space to teach residents about the District Councils ‘Motion for the Ocean’ commitment to protecting the UK’s oceans and waterways.

More events are being organised for later in the year and more information on these and the giant whale will be revealed soon!

These events are part of the Newark Heart Project and are into their third year and aim to increase the town centre’s vibrancy and encourage more footfall. It's one of the Newark Town Board projects with support from Newark and Sherwood District Council and Newark Town Council.

There’s even more activity planned for Saturday 27 April with the Race To The Castle paddleboard race organised by SUP Fitness at the Riverside Park attracting hundreds of competitors and meaning there’s plenty for families to see and do that day.

Newark Creates, which is a three-year cultural programme, led by Newark Cultural Consortium as part of the High Streets Heritage Action Zones scheme, is working with Wild In Art to bring a series of ten book bench sculptures to Newark this summer too. The benches will be placed in locations across Newark, and launched on Thursday 11 July, to coincide with the first day of Newark Book Festival.

These will be in place for eight weeks until early September. Following an open call and artist commission process, the benches will be adorned with vibrant colours and interactive designs. People will be able to pick up a trail leaflet and solve the clues as they follow the trail. Look out for additional activities taking place too.

The Newark Creates Bookbench Trail is funded by Arts Council England and UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

Councillor Matthew Spoors, Portfolio Holder for Sustainable Economic Development, said: “Not only is Newark Heart bringing along a series of new events, but the town centre will also see the return of some of our most popular events to date too!  Newark is always buzzing during Steampunk festivals, the CAMRA beer festival and the fantastic Dragon Boat Race thanks to the dedication and passion of other event organisers in the town separate to Newark Town Council and The District Council. 

“We really are very lucky in Newark to have such a varied events programme as I know town centres up and down the country don’t do this, and some that do, are cutting back on these.  However, we strongly believe that events play a key part in encouraging even more people to visit our town centre which is really important right now.

“What’s more, a lot of the events are free to take part in and that means that hopefully residents may be able to spend some money with our local retailers too. We know from our Resident Survey and our Newark Town Centre Masterplan and Design Code Survey that residents enjoy coming into the town centre to take part in events that bring the community together.

“There’s lots happening in Newark this year, so I encourage residents to support our town centre and take part in some of the fantastic events which are coming up.” 

Take a look at what else is coming up in the town, so far, below:

  • Family Arts Festival – 31 March
  • Morris Organisations’ Day of Dance 2024 – 13 April
  • Small Business Showcase – 27 April
  • Race To The Castle Paddle Board Race – 27 April
  • Newark Castle Sportive - 12 May
  • Vegan Market – 18 May
  • CAMRA Beer Festival – 24 until 26 May
  • Steampunk Festival – 24 until 27 May
  • Armed Forces Day – 30 June
  • Newark Book Festival – 11 July until 14 July
  • Book Bench Sculpture Trail – 11 July until September
  • Traditions Festival – 20 July until 21 July
  • Newark-on-Sea – 9 August until 19 August
  • Newark Dragon Boat Festival – 15 September

For a full list of events, go to:

Tom Cartledge, Chair of the Newark Towns Fund, said: “As part of Newark Town Board, our Newark Heart project is all about bringing exciting events into our town centre. The Small Business Showcase is just the start of some of the exciting activities we have planned, and we hope as many people as possible come and support our local businesses at the event.

“The Buttermarket offers a unique setting for visitors to discover some of the best gifts and experiences our independent businesses have to offer.

“Also in Newark on Saturday 27 April is the Race To The Castle paddleboard event as well as the Newark Town Centre general market so it’s set to be a packed day of excitement in the town!”

Newark-on-Sea will also be back in the summer after it was recently announced by Newark Town Council.

Matthew Gleadell, Town Clerk of Newark Town Council, said: “Events always help to add a real buzz and atmosphere to Newark, especially in the town centre. The Town Council is particularly pleased it has been able to ensure that Newark-on-Sea will continue as an event that has been enjoyed for the last two years.

“Being free to access for a period during the summer holidays, the event provides a welcome opportunity for parents and carers to entertain their children without incurring too much cost at a time when for many money is tight.

“We have received so many words of appreciation over the last two years for putting on the event and so now that it is once again confirmed, we can’t wait again to see the children enjoying the feature.

“We are lucky to enjoy such a busy events programme in Newark and if regular events at the showground are also taken into account we truly have a wide variety of events and entertainment on our doorstep that should provide something for all tastes and interests.”