ARTISTIC creativity will be celebrated as well as local food and drink at the third Dorset Festival at Poundbury’s Queen Mother Square.

The event, which has attracted thousands of visitors in recent years, has been renamed the Dorset Food and Arts Festival and will take place on Saturday, August 2 – the weekend closest to the late Queen Mother’s birthday.

The festival is being organised by Dorset Food and Drink, Dorset Farmers’ Markets and the Duchy of Cornwall.

The artistic element will see them working with the New Hardy Players, the Dorchester Community Play and Screen Bites, Dorset’s food and film festival.

The festival date coincides with the monthly Dorset Farmers’ Market at Poundbury and as well as the regular stallholders there will be a host of other Dorset food and drink producers.

Some of the county’s leading chefs will be taking to the Dorset Farmers’ Market mobile kitchen for demonstrations.

There will also be a programme of local musicians, bands and singers throughout the day and plans for the evening include music from the Dorchester Community Play band and scenes from the New Hardy Players’ summer production of Hardy’s Wessex Scenes.

Screen Bites, which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year, is also hoping to screen a food-themed film at the event and there will be lots of activities for children as well as art exhibitions by local students and professional artists.

The event will raise funds for the Weldmar Hospicecare Trust and the Cinnamon Trust, which supports the elderly and terminally ill.

Simon Conibear, from the Duchy of Cornwall, said: “We are delighted that Queen Mother Square will be hosting its third Dorset Food Festival.

“The last two were enjoyed by thousands of visitors and residents, and provided a stage for local talents in both food and music.

“We are hoping to attract even more local interest this year in a one day event on Saturday, August 2.”

Entry and parking are free on the day, but visitors are encouraged to use the park and ride from Dorchester.

Anyone who is interested in taking part in the event as a musician or artist is asked to contact Christine Walsh at the Duchy of Cornwall office at Poundbury by emailing or calling 01305 250533.