PERSHORE will be turning purple once again as the annual Plum Festival gets underway this weekend.

The festival, which celebrates everything the humble plum has to offer, has grown into a much anticipated event for the town culminating in a weekend long finale over August Bank Holiday weekend.

This year is set to be the biggest yet and should be a plummin' fantastic month.

It begins on Sunday (July 27) with the crowning of the Plum Princess at the Angel Hotel garden party and the Pershore Plum Festival race night will take place on Tuesday (July 29) at Worcester race course.

But the official launch kicks off on Saturday (Aug 2) when the Abbey Bells will ring with a three hour peal to welcome all to the festivities.

This will take place in Plum Alley where there will be a unique array of trade stands featuring a wide selection of plum goodies, festival merchandise, tastings and free advise, the Pershore Plum Charmer and festival mascot Prunella.

There will also be entertainment from local groups and The Notables, from Coventry.

Throughout the month a string of plum related activities will be taking place, from Plum Tours, exploring the varieties of the fruit grown in the area, to weekly fairs in Plum Alley, also known as Chapman Court, in Pershore town centre.

The pinnacle of the Plum Festival takes place all over the town on Bank Holiday Monday, (August 25) following a weekend of events, entertainment and eating.

Organiser Angela Tidmarsh said it was set to be a fantastic festival.

"We have a really good programme of entertainment this year," she said. "We are keen to see people making the most of the plum tours this year, they were set up for people who wouldn't normally get the opportunity to visit an orchard and we are probably unique in providing these plum tours."

New features to this year's festival are a dog show on Sunday, August 24, from noon and a motorcycle meet taking place in the town on Wednesday, August 20.

"These are brand new events taking place this year," said Mrs Tidmarsh. "We are moving on with the purple theme and I know the bikers have some purple bikes.

"We are trying to increase the number of family friendly activities as well, so we have much more for the children.

"The race event is great because it will put us in the national papers, it's about getting us out there and attracting people that otherwise wouldn't necessarily come to a plum festival."

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