From the floats to the feast, it's Festival season!

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Lovely sky last night as Glastonbury drew to a close.  I thought Lorde, Barry Gibb, Nile Rodgers and Chic were great, Ed Sheeran is superb too, although I would have loved him to perform with a band, I know he doesn't, but he did look a little lost on the stage I felt, despite the great sounds he was making.

Parking - Rutland County Council is looking to standardise the car park charges at 80p per hour across Oakham and Uppingham.  Now you remember what happened last time they tried to put up parking in Uppingham?  It went back down to 20p an hour again.  There are discounts for weekly and season ticket holders, but it's 80p an hour quite expensive for our size of towns.  Whilst we're talking about Oakham, don't forget Option A or B - to have one or two way traffic, have your say as part of a £3 million renovation of the town.  I have heard it said if that money was used to reduce business rates, it would encourage trade in town.  I've also heard it should be spent in the villages too.  And what about parking?  However much you charge, is there enough space to park in town for everyone anyway?  I'd say not.

17 floats in Stamford this year, more than last year, some new entrants too.  Thanks to everyone who made it happen, from the Stamford Kiwanis who organise it, to the hauliers, those who took part, and those who watched.  There's quite a lot of talk asking if it's still relevant, I think it is, and a great celebration of community groups and a big focus on children, although there was also an entry from Chater Lodge which included the staff and elderly residents.  Looking forward to next year already!  I feel so proud of the town as I look down at the action from Browne's Hospital

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The winners were:

Festival Directors' Award for Best Walking Float - JHH Dance

Best School - Tumble Tots

Best Club - Stamford Pantomime Players

Hanson Jubilee Cement Award for Best Youth - Girl Guiding Welland Division

Cummins Newage AVK SEG Award for Most Entertaining Float - Danish Invader

Best Turned Out Vehicle - CS Ellis

Special Merit Award - Stoney Ford Brew Co Ltd and the Stamford Litter Pickers (they picked up 31 bags of rubbish from the A1 verges and a walk from Cambridge Road to the Rec, isn't that a shameful amount to have on the ground in the first place?)

Best Overall - Friends of Stamford and Rutland Theatre

If you would like to know about taking part in next year's parade, please contact

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The Uppingham Feast had a great buzz to it too, hundreds packed into the market square to see the live music, sample the stalls and with an Alice In Wonderland theme, a Queen of Hearts garden backstage, poetry in the Falcon and crafts in the Town Hall.

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Oakham Festival begins on Wednesday and runs through to Sunday.  Highlights include an already sold out comedy night at the Grainstore on Thursday, a play in the style of a radio play at Oakham Castle on Friday, A history of Organ music on Saturday lunchtime at Oakham All Saints Church (as well as the free lunchtime concerts from Wednesday), Proms in the Park on Saturday evening, Rutland Sinfonia's 40th anniversary concert at Oakham School Chapel on Sunday afternoon and Physical theatre called Threads at Oakham's Queen Elizabeth Theatre this Sunday evening.  If you're free and any of those interest you, please do go along.  As I read recently, Art Needs An Audience.

Our weekend survey was about film sequels - my favourite would have been Empire Strikes Back, the second Star Wars film, the most votes went to Toy Story 2

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