Things to look forward to in Hertfordshire in 2020
With all the excitement that New Year’s Eve starts 2020 with, you’ll want to continue your year the right way – with lots to look forward to and plenty to get up to. With any luck, our round up of the best events taking place in 2020 will make it the best year yet.
Not only is it the Hertfordshire Year of Culture, there’s town birthdays and a good dose of landmark events you just don’t want to miss. The best way to keep up with the events happening near you and countywide, throughout the year, is to regularly check back on the Visit Herts Events calendar where you’ll find all the latest events!
Hertfordshire Year of Culture
If you haven’t already heard, 2020 is the Year of Culture for Hertfordshire, which means all across the county there’ll be experiences happening across your favourite attractions and local businesses. The 12 months of 2020 are split into themed months including The Big Outdoors, Cultural Olympiad and Celebrate and Illuminate, so whether it’s about re-discovering your local museums or trying a new course Hertfordshire will be immersed in culture! Remember to keep an eye on the HYOC2020 social media for all of the best events and news on the Year of Culture – Twitter and Facebook.
100 years of Welwyn Garden City
With the first house being occupied shortly before Christmas in 1920, Welwyn Garden City is 100 years old in 2020. Being the second garden city in England, the town was designed for healthy living and this is what the programme of events planned for the year is aiming to do. Kicking things off in January is the Centenary Year Launch where the town will be lit with illuminations, continuing through 2020 with events such as the launch of the Centenary Walk which takes in the whole town and attractions such as Tewin Bury Farm and Brocket Hall. Make sure you check out the year-long "By Wisdom and Design" exhibition at Mill Green Museum, exploring the relationship between design and Welwyn Garden City. However, every month has a string of events happening so be sure to check the calendar!
The Alban Pilgrimage
An annual event, this 2020 the Alban Pilgrimage takes place on the Saturday 20th June. Known locally as the Pilgrimage day, the streets of St Albans come alive with a carnival atmosphere chronicling the times of Saint Alban. An event known across the country, the city brings people on the pilgrimage through the streets and attracts Roman chariots, centurions and lions – all of course in flowing textile form! After the Pilgrimage, there are additional cathedral services including Festival Eucharist and Evensong. This however is only one day, so if you wish to head out on a pilgrimage of your own, then the St Alban Pilgrim Way is a five stage, 35 mile route from St Paul’s in London to St Alban’s itself, partially by Tube and has the odd tea room stop off.
If you thought that Warner Bros. Studio Tour couldn’t get any bigger or better, then you’d be wrong in 2020. Hogwarts in the Snow brings in the winter in 2019/20 and 2020/21, transforming the sets with a covering of snow to recreate scenes in a different light. In February, Introducing the Art Department gives visitors the chance to see the drawings and technical aspects that went into bringing the details to the screen. The biggest event of the year is A Celebration of Slytherin – get dressed and ready to celebrate a Slytherin victory – all the while discovering secrets behind the house. To top it off, if we dare talk of Halloween, in late September to November there’ll be the ever-popular Dark Arts!
Paradise Wildlife Park
It's the only zoo in the UK to hold five different big cat species, so you are sure to catch a glimpse of the big cats at Paradise Wildlife Park. To continue to offer an experience like no other, Paradise Wildlife Park is currently building a brand-new tiger habitat to be opened in 2020 – be sure to follow their social media to see when you can see them in their new environment. Outside of the reserve, the grandsons of the founder of the park, the Whitnall brothers, are driving a modified Land Rover for Drive 4 Wildlife to Uganda raising awareness of conservation but also delivering the vital tool for anti-poaching to the Ugandan Wildlife Education Centre – follow along the journey here.
Bringing Watford to life is what the events calendar for 2020 is all about. Kicking off the string of ‘goings on’ in April is Record Store Day on 18th, which is a nationwide celebration, but brought to Watford with a series of live music events. In June, the music continues with the return of the Big Bandstand that runs from the start of the month to 30th September with hordes of concerts. If however a variety of performances is more your viewing style, then look out in August for Imagine Watford, importing carnival festivities to the town. Finally, making its blockbuster return for just under two weeks in July/ August is the popular Big Screen showing a multiplex of films, and a speciality for landlocked Hertfordshire, the Big Beach in August. Phew (but there’s still more – check out the calendar!).