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Ruthin Festival strikes gold with new sponsor

Denbigh-based Irish foot-stompers the Wee Bag Band will be joining Dafydd Iwan and a host of others when Ruthin Festival’s Top of returns to St Peter’s Square on Saturday, July 2.

Ruthin Festival have struck Welsh gold for its popular Top of Town event with the announcement that leading jewellers Clogau are confirmed as sponsors for the traditional climax on St Peter’s Square on Saturday, July 2.

It marks the return of the week-long Festival after a three-year Covid absence and up to 4,000 spectators are expected once again to enjoy an impressive line-up headlined by legendary Welsh folk artist Dafydd Iwan.

Also back are festival favourites the Pantonic All Stars Steel Drummers to bring some Caribbean sunshine and calypso rhythms to the day in an impressive line-up which includes Denbigh-based Irish foot-stompers the Wee Bag Band and the newly-formed Cor Aelwyd Dyffryn Clwyd.

Festival chairman Gwion Thomas said: “It’s great to be back and with a great lineup for Top of Town and for the whole week and it’s brilliant to be able to announce a new main sponsor in Clogau who are literally right here in the heart of Ruthin.

“They have stepped in to help us put on a great show again on our return and we’re really looking forward to welcoming everyone back to the 25th staging of the festival.

“It’s been a major logistical exercise because we couldn’t really start planning until after Christmas because of the fear of further lockdowns but everyone has worked very hard and the support we’ve had locally has been fantastic.”

The festival runs from Saturday, June 25, when Ruthin Carnival takes place and there is an open-air staging of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream by the Illyria Production Company in the beautiful grounds of historic Nantclwyd y Dre.

It ends with a community bike ride on Sunday, July 3, and in between includes guided tours of the town’s medieval walls, a lecture on the history of the railway in Ruthin, concerts, poetry, film and quiz nights and an Artisan Market in Ruthin Gaol.

Clogau’s Managing Director Ben Roberts said “We’re delighted to be supporting the Top of Town event which is the centrepiece of summer in the town and we’re offering a ten per cent discount in our Ruthin branch to everyone with a Festival wristband.

“It has become such an iconic event and the fact that it is back is a sign that life is returning to normal after such a difficult time.”

The streets around St Peter’s Square are closed to traffic for Top of Town and admission is £5 with festival-goers allowed to bring their own refreshments including alcohol although glass is banned for safety reasons.

The pubs and cafes around the square will be open and there will be an open-air Festival Bar run by the Wine Vaults pub with the proceeds going to the Festival.

St Peter’s Church is also hosting an event with activities for youngsters aged three to 10 during Top of Town and Gwion Tomos added: “We have pegged our prices to what is a very reasonable £5 a head and we’re really grateful to all the businesses which support us and we are looking forward to many more years of this iconic event.”