Frank Cottrell Boyce joins birthday celebrations at Calderstones Park

Announcing The Big Reader Picnic at Calderstones Park on Saturday July 7

To mark its 10th birthday, The Reader, a Liverpool-based national charity supported by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery that gets thousands of people reading aloud together each week, is hosting a community picnic at its Calderstones Park home.

The celebration will include guest readings from group members and volunteers, as well as local patron, author and screenwriter, Frank Cottrell Boyce.

The event kicks off at 10am this Saturday July 7 in the Calderstones Park picnic area next to The Storybarn, The Reader’s interactive children’s story centre.

The programme includes children’s and adults’ Shared Reading sessions, crafting workshops, face painting, family activities and outdoor heritage tours visiting the park’s ancient Calder Stones and the Mansion House, where the £5m redevelopment project due for completion in Spring 2019 will see the opening of the world’s first International Centre for Shared Reading.

Arriva North West, Make Liverpool, Merseyside Woodturners Association, Little Sunshine Yoga, plus children’s authors of Murray the Smallest Owl and My Colourful Chameleon, are joining the bill with reading, making and doing activities.

The Reader’s Knit & Natter Group, which recently yarn-bombed Liverpool Central Library as part of Make Fest, will also be holding craft workshops.

The good weather is set to continue, so visitors are invited to come prepared with shades, hats and sun cream.

The Reader’s founder Jane Davis will be kicking off the picnic feast at 12noon with a special birthday message. Bring along your favourite picnic treats or pick up your goodies from The Reader’s BBQ, Café or Ice Cream Parlour.

Limited parking is available so why not travel by bus or on foot? Plan your visit now with Merseytravel.

5 Things to Do at The Big Reader Picnic

1. Enjoy a live reading from author and screenwriter Frank Cottrell Boyce

Award-winning screenwriter and novelist Frank Cottrell Boyce joins a main stage lineup of Reader volunteers reading favourite literature throughout the day, alongside live music. Visitors can also sign up to join Shared Reading sessions in the outdoors.

2. Fly away on a magical storytime adventure in The Storybarn’s hot air balloon

The Storybarn will be opening its doors for free sessions for families. Sign up in the picnic area on arrival to meet the magical storytime robot, hop aboard the hot air balloon and whizz down the Storybarn slide (perfect for big and little kids!).

3. Get into making with Make Liverpool (makers of the pirate ship in Liverpool ONE’s Treasure Island!)

Meet the makers of the pirate ship currently moored at The Reader’s Treasure Island pop up on Paradise Street. Make Liverpool is a creative organisation that shares, makes and fixes from its base in the North Docks. They’ll be bringing their making skills to the crowds at Calderstones.

4. A book signing with Leonie Roberts, author of Colourful Chameleon

Families can enjoy a live reading and book signing of My Colourful Chameleon with author Leonie Roberts.

5. Discover the secrets of the Neolithic Calder Stones on a free heritage tour.

Taking in the rich history and heritage of the park, free walking tours will tell the story of the Neolithic Calder Stones, the earliest signs of human life in this area, along with the ‘thousand-year-old’ Allerton Oak and the historic Mansion House.

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