LOCALS and visitors alike are in for a treat at the forthcoming Bridport Hat Festival with the news that celebrities Billy Bragg and Hank Wangford will be present to add their own expertise as judges.

Locals and visitors will enjoy a packed schedule, starting with Festival patron Hank Wangford who, with his band the Lost Cowboys, opens proceedings on the Friday evening, 5 September, in the Arts Centre. This year’s festival is the fifth to be held and will take place from 5-7 September.

Saturday sees the biggest gathering, when the town centre is closed to traffic and will be full of thousands of hat wearers from the elegant to the bizarre.

Not to be missed is the mass lunchtime photo shoot, in Bucky Doo Square, the centre of Bridport, at 1pm. This will be followed by the judging and prize giving of the fun hat competitions. Taking part in the judging will be singer/songwriter and social commentator Billy Bragg, and musician/songwriter Hank Wangford, Songwriter, Musician. Winners will be chosen for the best headwear worn by adults, children and even best ‘hatted dog’. The competition for serious hat makers, the Milliners' and Hatters' Open, tops the day with the prize of £500 and will be judged by the world renowned milliner Isabelle Mazzitelli.

Other Saturday attractions will include live music in Bucky Doo from young and upcoming local bands and musicians. At Millenium Green, there will be music and further activities including a hat-hurling challenge. The children will have plenty to do with entertainment from Professor Paradox and Children’s Story time. The street collection will see profits split between Brain Tumour Research and the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust.

To find out more visit the festival website www.bridporthatfest.org.