THIS year’s week long Gŵyl Daniel Owen Festival got off to a wonderful start on Saturday, with a blaze traditional music and dance.

The first day of many colourful community events promoting the eminent Victorian author Daniel Owen, who lived in Mold, began with the ‘Apples and Dance’ event, much to the enjoyment of the audience and shoppers alike. Alongside the music, people brought their apples to a stall to have them pressed into tasty juice.

Gareth and Bev Thomas of local border Morris dance side, Tegeingl Tanglers, organised the event with members of the Festival team. A brilliant group of volunteers were kept busy cutting and washing the apples before feeding them into an apple scratter to make a pomace, (a grated consistency) suitable for pressing out the juice.

Gareth Thomas, one of the event organisers, said: "This is the second time we’ve made apple juice at a public event like this and we’re delighted the way it has gone.

"People have been really interested in watching the process and sampling the juice. Many people have brought apples to press from their own gardens – and were pleased to be able to use them, as so often they go to waste these days.

"Apples and Dance was chosen by Taste North East Wales to be included in their month-long calendar of events in the Region."

During the day traditional Morris dancers entertained a crowd of over 400 people with teams from near and far. The renowned local group, Tegeingl Tanglers, were the hosts and were joined by the amazing Wharfedale Wayzgoose from West Yorkshire, Mockbeggar Morris from the Wirral and Mossley Morris Men from the Manchester area. Cambria Band joined in with a performance of their rousing drumming. This event was sponsored by The Relish Club.

Hugh and Christine Norwood from Wharfedale Wayzgoose joined Mayor of Mold, Tim Maunders, to lay the traditional wreath on the statue of Daniel Owen in the square.

Inside the Daniel Owen Centre a well attended coffee morning gave people the opportunity to practice Welsh in a relaxed environment.

On Saturday evening the Daniel Owen Festival staged Robat Arwyn performing his Y Gair tu ôl i’r Gan (the story behind the song) during a lovely evening of music in the Daniel Owen Centre. Robat has published 13 volumes of songs, a variety of individual choral pieces and nine musicals, including Er Mwyn Yfory and Plas Du.

The Festival continues for the rest of this week with literary, arts and heritage events - something for everyone! Details of the full programme are available at Mold Library or on the Festival web site