2018 promises to be a very special year in St Helens as the town gears up to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the formation of the borough of St Helens.
To mark the occasion, and the 70th anniversary of the town’s twinning with the German city of Stuttgart, a year-long cultural programme has been created to celebrate 150 years of heritage and innovation.
The celebrations will see a variety of events and activities taking place across St Helens, some of which will be new to the events calendar such as an International Food and Drink Festival, a heritage weekend and projections of light on landmark sites around the borough. Some activities will also build on popular established events such as Westfield Music Festival, Summer Streets, Armed Forces Day and Spark in the Park.
In addition, a series of artistic commissions and events will take place throughout the year, led by the Heart of Glass and other local art and cultural partners and supported by St Helens Council. Together these will form a programme of art, cultural and community events and activities called St Helens 150.
Celebrations are due to kick off later this month with a new arts commission by Artist Stephen King, entitled “Where things are different”, before activities really get under way in the spring and summer.
As the emphasis of the programme will be people and place driven, local communities are encouraged to get involved. Any local community groups or associations looking to host an event in St Helens during 2018, whether it is sports, cultural, arts or community based, and are interested in linking their event to St Helens 150, can get in touch. St Helens Council would also like to hear from any groups who are interested in volunteering their help or who would like to get involved in some of the events taking place over the next year.
Councillor Gill Neal, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, with responsibility for Arts and Culture said:
“These celebrations are really all about the borough’s heritage and innovation, and as such it is right that everyone can get involved and join in. We are particularly keen to encourage and support local community groups and associations with any local events that they may have planned for 2018.
“As the emphasis of these celebrations is to not only look back at our illustrious past, but to also look to our future and showcase the talents of our young people, we are particularly interested to hear from any youth groups or associations who would like to take part in the celebrations, either by holding a particular event in association with the St Helens 150 programme, or by volunteering to help and take part in some of the events.
“This programme of events promises to have something for everyone – and it would be great if local people got behind this, got involved and made 2018 a year to remember.”
If you are looking to host an event in St Helens during 2018 and would like to link it to the borough’s 150th anniversary plans, or if you are interested in volunteering, you can express an interest and find out more by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org