WHAT'S ON IN ASHBURTON - ANNUAL EVENTS
With its colourful traditions and vibrant community there is always something going on in Ashburton - and everyone is welcome!
For entertainment there are regular concerts and local bands at several venues in the town and the local community cinema has regular showings of highly acclaimed movies in a relaxed and informal environment complete with cushions and a bar.
Saturday prior to Shrove Tuesday
Our home grown version of the New Orleans ‘the Mardi Gras parade’ is held on Shrove Tuesday. It features music, costumes, food and revelry bringing a taste of New Orleans to Dartmoor.
First week in May
Tinners Moon is a week long programme of entertainment held at the Ashburton Arts Centre. Featuring music, dance, plays, musicals, crafts, world food and more - there is something for everyone!
Moor Otters Trail
Last week of May - End of September
A public arts project for young and old that will take you on a journey of learning and discovery as you seek out each of 80 Otter with Cub sculptures decorated by local artists and distributed around Dartmoor to create four amazing arts trails.
Ashburton Horse & Dog Show
Second to Last Sunday in June
A family-friendly fun horse & dog show with lots of classes, including heavy horse, and ‘have a go’ dog agility classes. A BBQ, bar and ice cream and more make it a fun day out for the whole family in beautiful rural surroundings.
Held on the Thursday of Carnival Week
Run from the centre of town along roads and lanes around Ashburton with challenging hills and idyllic scenery. The race enjoys a vibrant atmosphere with supportive crowds, BBQ and bar at the start and finish.
Last Saturday in June to the first Saturday in July
One of the oldest surviving carnivals in Devon dating back to 1891, but it is believed to have been started in the mid 1880s to raise funds for a new hospital and continues to raise money for local charities today.
First Weekend in July
A little piece of magic set deep in the beautiful Devon countryside, in one beautiful green field under the shadow of Denbury Hill and looking over Dartmoor. As well as showcasing the best of Devon, Glas-Denbury has fabulous and quirky artists from all over the UK to entertain and surprise you! Whether you are a family with young children or teenagers, or you just want to leave the children at home and party, there is something for you all.
Ancient Ale-Tasting & Bread Weighing Ceremony
Third Saturday in July
The Ancient Ale Tasting and Bread Weighing Ceremony is an ancient tradition kept alive by the Portreeve and Courts Leet and Baron. The ceremony offers entertaining street theatre, centred around the pubs and bakeries in the town, followed by a bread auction and is accompanied by a colourful procession of members of the Courts and other townsfolk in medieval dress.
Up until the time of the Magna Carta there was no check on the price or quality of bread and ale. Records of Ashburton’s Ale Tasters fining brewers for selling bad ale date back to the 13th century, soon after the first Ale Conners were appointed in London in 1276.
Dartmoor Artists Exhibition
Last Saturday in July for One Week
An annual exhibition of selected paintings that first began 67 years ago and is an opportunity to see and purchase artwork by both amateur and professional painters based in and around Dartmoor.
Dartmoor Walking Festival
Final week in August
The perfect way to explore Dartmoor and find out about this incredibly special place with walks ranging from modest guided strolls and children’s rambles to full day walks and ambitious challenges!
Ashburton Food Festival
First or Second Saturday in September
During the Ashburton Food Festival the town is transformed into a wonderful street market offering the very best in local food and drink.
Stalls selling fresh local produce bring colour to the streets whilst tantalising aromas lead passers-by to bustling stalls selling street food and thirst quenching local ciders and ales whilst live music, comedy and children’s shows bring a carnival buzz to the town.
Second Tuesday of September
The village of Widecombe-in-the-Moor lies in a sheltered valley on the East side of Dartmoor. The subject of a well known folk song, Widecombe Fair attracts visitors from far and wide and is run entirely by volunteers to raise money for local good causes, as well as providing an opportunity for farmers to compare the size of their tractors.
Devon Open Studios
During September (see website)
An exceptional chance to enjoy art at its source when resident artists and artisans open their studios to sell individual artworks to the public.
Late Night Christmas Market
First Thursday in December
As the evening air takes on that steely sharpness that heralds the festive season, Ashburton comes alive. The shop windows twinkle brightly through the night and seasonal displays beckon shoppers with the promise of a warm welcome. The Late Night Christmas Market brings locals and visitors thronging to the town looking for unique gifts for family and friends or something special for that special someone.