AN ANNUAL celebration of all things art and entertainment got underway in fine style in Windsor last week.

The Windsor Fringe was officially launched at the Old Booking Hall in the Windsor Royal shopping centre, on Friday last week with live music and Royal Borough town crier Chris Brown proclaiming the fortnight-long extravaganza open.

The Thames Path Art group held an exhibition showcasing the work of 13 of its members on Saturday and Sunday at the Harte and Garter Hotel in Thames Street, Windsor, which was warmly received.

Maria Meerstadt, founder of Thames Path Art, said: “We had a really good turnout and lots of compliments about the art.” One of the showpiece events of the fringe takes place from Thursday next week to Saturday at the Firestation in St Leonard’s Road, when the finalists in the Kenneth Branagh Award for new drama writing see their plays performed and a winner will be picked.

Ann Trewartha, one of the fringe organisers, said: “This is the 10th year we are holding this and we have got two brilliant judges in Fay Weldon CBE and Pete Gallagher. It’s a great award.

“Everything is going really well so far, we have had some brilliant crowds at the event.” Windsor Festival also continued this week with highlights including a talk on music and monarchy at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, by historian David Starkey on Sunday and an evening of music and beer tasting at Windsor and Eton Brewery in Vansittart Road on Monday.

The festival runs until Sunday though many events are now sold out and the fringe will run until Sunday, October 6.

For festival tickets, go to www.windsorfestival.com and for the fringe, go to www.windsorfringe.co.uk