A FESTIVAL celebrating the life of an influential Welsh author is in full swing despite a rainy start.
The Daniel Owen Festival, which got under way in Mold at the weekend, is commemorating the life and works of the revered 19th century Welsh author.
Local businessman John Mainwaring started the annual festival in 2010 after studying the Welsh language and reading the writer’s novels.
He was so impressed with Daniel Owen’s writing, he arranged for two works to be published in English and campaigned for a festival to raise the writer’s profile.
Festival secretary Nia Wyn Jones said the event, which was proving to be as popular as ever, had got off to a ‘great start’.
Events started on Friday evening with the North Wales International Poetry Festival at Clwyd Theatr Cymru.
On Saturday afternoon, things got creative as youngsters were asked to design a hat to celebrate the work of Daniel Owen who was also a tailor and hat-maker.
The finished products took pride of place during a parade through the streets of Mold and will now be displayed in Mold Library for all to see.
Mold town councillor Andrea Mearns praised the efforts of those who took part in Saturday’s parade despite the wet weather.
“It was fantastic,” she said. “The children marched through Mold in the pouring rain, led by the Cambria band.
“You’ve got to be fairly resilient to march through the rain but we do live in North Wales.”
Mrs Wyn Jones said Sunday’s bilingual Welsh walk had been a memorable occasion.
“The sun shone,” she said. “Walkers visited landmarks around the town associated with Daniel Owen before laying a wreath where he’s buried.
“And a short ceremony was held at his graveside, with an early recording of one of the hymns sung at his funeral.”
Adults also had the opportunity to take part in a visual arts workshop on Sunday, exploring textile sculpture and natural forms with local artist Ticky Lowe.
She said the festival was “an ongoing awareness raising programme, working with children to ensure they know the work Daniel Owen did. Now they know a lot more than they did,” she said.
The programme continues throughout the week with further events including lectures, more guided walks and music.