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Watford to hold its first literary festival

To mark a year filled with literary milestones, Watford Council has announced its first ever literary festival.

Big Word Fest is the newest Big Event – an events programme which has seen an ice rink, a beach and an outdoor cinema come to the heart of the town.

Running from 8 March to Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary on 23 April, the festival is a celebration of the written and spoken word. Apart from the traditional author talks, people can enjoy plays, workshops, arts and crafts and even a Roald Dahl themed parade.

Elected Mayor Dorothy Thornhill said: “The Big Events are about opening up wonderful experiences to everybody and we felt literature was missing from the line-up. With it being Shakespeare’s anniversary and Roald Dahl’s 100th birthday, it seemed like the perfect time for this celebration. Working with our many partners and local businesses, we’ve pulled together a real mix of events. There is something for everyone.”

See the full list of Big Word Fest events at and keep an eye out for #WatfordWord on social media. Highlights include Simon Callow, Michael Portillo, a performance from Shakespeare's Globe and a Call the Midwife talk by Jennifer Worth's daughter, Suzannah Hart.

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