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Time to get gripped by Black Country Festival fever - WATCH

By Alex Ross | Best of | Published: | Last Updated:

Its time to show off your Black Country flags and celebrate the best of the region - with help of a packed programme of events.

Deputy mayor of Dudley Alan Taylor, deputy mayoress of Dudley Win Taylor, shop manager Steve Edwards, and Mike Wood MP, outside The Black Country Hub in Merry Hill shopping centre

History trails, comedy nights, variety shows and classic car displays are taking place this week in the lead up to Black Country Day on Friday.

The day, always on July 14, was launched five years ago, and its success has led it to become an almost month-long series of events.

Yesterday, an information centre was officially launched at Merry Hill shopping centre to promote the region's tourism.

Situated near the bus station, the Black Country Hub was opened by the Black Country Arts Council and dignitaries from Dudley Council and Dudley South MP Mike Wood.

It comes ahead of another bumper weekend celebrating the Black Country, which includes a 'Black Country Weekend' at the Black Country Living Museum.

There will also be fun days at Netherton and Upper Gornal today.

Speaking at yesterday's hub unveiling, Mr Wood said: "We are really proud of our industrial heritage in the Black Country.

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"The launch of the hub and the festival celebrates that, there is real focus, not just on the festival, but going forward in the future.

"The hub is fantastic."

Steve Edwards, organiser of the Black Country Festival, said: "The hub was packed at the launch, up to 21million people visit Merry Hill centre every year, so with us being here for six months, three and a half million people will see us."

Today and tomorrow at the Black Country Living Museum, the Black Country weekend will tell the story of the region.

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Using a discovery trail, it will provide information on the region's rich industrial hertiage. The trail will include visits to the museum's trap shop, nail shop, brass foundry and chainmaker's.

Also today will be the Netherton Park Fun Day from 10am to 5pm and Gornal Fun Day at the Recreation Ground from 12noon to 4pm.

WATCH: Find out more about the Black Country Hub

Black Country Hub launches at Merry Hill shopping centre

The showpiece event of the festival on Black Country Day itself.

A comedy show with TVs Ross Noble headlining will take place at Brierley Hill Civic Hall. The supporting acts on the night are all from the Black Country.

Elsewhere on Black Country Day, the Black Country Masters Golf Tournament takes place at Dudley Golf Club, with the winner of the annual event getting to take away the prized ‘green tay shirt’.

And at Great Bridge Library, from 7pm, there will be a special Black Country Variety Show. Hosted by Black Country poet Billy Spakemon, it features music from Black Country Gaz as well as music, comedy and poetry performances.

There will also be fun days in Dudley, at Stone Street Square on July 15 from 11am to 5pm; in Wordsley on the same day; Brockmoor and Pensnett on July 23 from 1pm to 5pm; and Coseley on July 30 in Castle Street, Roseville from 1pm to 5pm.

Funfair rides, stalls and live entertainment will all feature heavily.

Mr Edwards said: “It doesn’t matter whether you are young or old, there really is something to do for everyone during the Black Country Festival.

“It’s a month-long celebration of who we are and where we come from, and we would urge Black Country folk to get along to the events and wave their flags proudly.”

Alex Ross

By Alex Ross
@alexross_star

Chief Reporter at the Express & Star. Everyone has a story - tell me yours.

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