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Oakham Festival will return in 2019 as Debbie Oakes and Carolyn Acton-Reed step forward to organise the popular event

A long-running arts festival has been saved from the axe after new organisers stepped in.

Oakham Festival trustees announced they were stepping down from the committee in January and launched a desperate appeal for someone to fill their shoes.

Professional event planners Debbie Oakes and Carolyn Acton-Reed came forward and are now busy planning a week-long programme of events for the town.

Oakham Festival's new chairman Debbie Oakes (8429334)
Oakham Festival's new chairman Debbie Oakes (8429334)

Debbie, who owns Snapdragon in Mill Street, said: “We just couldn’t let it die. Oakham needs this vibrancy and something for everyone to get involved with.

“We have so much talent in this county that we want to showcase. We also want to get pubs and businesses involved to help raise awareness of them too.”

The festival will run from June 23 to 30. It will include old favourites like the Proms in the Park, lunchtime recitals, art exhibitions and dance showcases but the team is working on some new ideas including a ghost story night in Mill Street.

Debbie added: “The festival will be fun and fabulous.”

Outgoing chairman Michelle Begy said: "I’ve enjoyed being part of Oakham Festival for the last five years and feel privileged to have worked with an amazing committee who have brought some of the best performers in the UK to Rutland.

"I feel 100 per cent confident the festival will continue to flourish under the careful leadership of Debbie and Carolyn."

Anyone wanting to get involved can call Debbie on 07878 520011.

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