A CELEBRATION of all things Black Country is promised by Dudley borough this year after local people said they wanted a festival in July.
The official Black Country Day is on July 14 and council bosses in Dudley are already making plans with the community to ensure the event doesn't pass by unnoticed.
Musician Garry Sawers, perhaps better known as Black Country Gaz and a campaigner with the Friends of Dudley Hippodrome, is leading the community involvement and has already established a Black Country Festival facebook page which has around 800 followers and a website at www.blackcountryfestival.co.uk
The council has presented Garry with a Love Your Community certificate for his efforts in making the Black Country Festival a reality.
Black Country Gaz said, "All of us in the Black Country have loads to be proud of and I'm delighted Dudley Council is supporting the community in making this happen. The interest out there from people across the region is huge and I'm sure we can get plenty of events and activities, including live music, going on across various venues this July."
Black Country food and drink, live music, comedy, arts and crafts are all set to take centre stage in July across Stourbridge, Dudley, Brierley Hill and other parts of the borough.
Venues and organisations across the borough, including music venues, pubs and charities, have already expressed a desire to be part of the Black Country festival. Meanwhile the Black Country Living Museum along with council museums such as the Red House Glass Cone, Broadfield House and Dudley Museum and Art Gallery are also set to stage exhibitions celebrating the region.
Councillor Pete Lowe, deputy leader of Dudley Council, said, "The launch of the Black Country flag on Dudley Town Hall marked Dudley as the capital of the Black Country and the response from residents and groups right across the borough has been incredible. As a community council we are determined to work with everyone to help create a month of activities in July that will offer something for everyone.
"We have so much to be proud of in the Black Country and it is superb to see the likes of Black Country Gaz and other local people showing such a keen desire to celebrate this great place. I am personally looking forward to seeing the Black Country flag being flown and displayed across the borough and indeed across the whole of the region."
Venues and organisations looking to hold events during July to help celebrate the Black Country festival can email details to email@example.com to get their event listed on websites and in event programmes.