THE Towcestrians hope a Gail will bring the sunshine when she officially opens the Towcester Beer Festival on Thursday evening.
Northants resident Gail Morecambe, daughter of Eric Morecambe, agreed to open the festival after hearing the Tring Brewery were attending with their Bring Me Sunshine ale, made by Andrew Jackson.
Its name recalls the famous song Eric Morecambe sang with his comic partner Ernie Wise and the pump clip features a silhouette of him doing the duo’s trademark dance.
Mr Jackson said said: “We brewed Bring Me Sunshine as a tribute to Eric. He lived in Harpenden for a number of years and did an enormous amount of work on behalf of the local community and local charities.
“He played golf at the local club, shopped in the High Street and used to mention the town in his comedy routines. Eric was a national treasure – he was also a legend in Hertfordshire.”
Gail Morecambe will officially open the Festival at 8pm on Thursday, May 3, ahead of an invitation-only VIP preview tasting session for the event’s sponsors.
Organiser Crispin Slee said they are equipped with a large marquee, and have access to a bigger one, so the show will go on regardless of the weather. He added: “We are very honoured that Gail is coming to open the festival. No matter what the weather, this year is promising to be the biggest and best festival there has ever been.”
On Saturday Towcester Mayor Martin Johns gave the festival his backing when they gave away 60 vouchers for free pints at festival.
Shoppers were invited to flick a rugby ball through a set of miniature set of rugby posts to win a voucher.
Mr Johns said: “It promises to be a really good community event, promoting locally produced ales, as well as the opportunity for a bit of family fun.
“The Towcestrians are an important element of community life in Towcester, in that they promote a range of sports for young and old, and bring people together.”
Towcester Beer Festival opens at 5pm on Friday, May 4, and closes at 10pm on Sunday, May 6. As well as 60 ales, there will be 30 different ciders.
There will also be live music throughout the festival. On Friday night, a six-piece Blues Brothers Tribute Band will take to the stage.
On Saturday, there is a line up of five bands and on Sunday, a family day at the festival, Towcester Rock School will be showcasing its talent.
The festival is also famous for its Ghurka curry, served every year under the watchful eye of Mark Austin, a former Major in the Ghurkas.
As well live music and Ghurka curry, there will be a hog roast, barbecue, live rugby, kids entertainment and the annual tug-o-war for the Roy Wilson Cup.
Last year, more than 2,000 people flocked to the event and drank the festival dry, downing 2,880 pints of real ale and 792 pints of real cider.
Towcester Beer Festival takes place at Towcestrians RFC in Greens Norton Road, Towcester. Entry is free.
For more information click here for the Towcester Beer Festival Facebook page.