This year’s programme features 65 events in totalLucas Maddalena

The programme for this year’s Open Cambridge festival, which will run between 10th - 19th September, was announced on Monday (16/08).

The festival is part of the Heritage Open Days initiative, which sees thousands of free events celebrating local heritage and culture held across England every September.

Its aim is to give members of the public access to buildings and monuments that are normally closed to visitors.

This year’s Heritage Open Days, which have the theme of “Edible England”, will use the “universal language” of food as a “doorway into hidden histories, regional differences and the myriad cultures around us”.

Accordingly, Cambridge’s colleges, museums, heritage sites, and local history groups have created a programme of 65 different in-person and online events celebrating the city’s culinary heritage and culture. 

Speaking to Varsity, a University spokesperson praised the festival for bringing “together events run by the University community and our local community to create an event for, and by, Cambridge.”

This year’s programme features a behind-the-scenes tour of Cambridge University Farm, where  visitors will be able to see animals, farm buildings, and machinery. It will showcase how the Farm, which was established in 1900 and hosts clinical training for the University’s Department of Veterinary Medicine, is changing livestock operations focusing on animal welfare and sustainability.


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Elsewhere in the University community, Corpus Christi and Pembroke Colleges will participate in an event on the history of feasting in the city, while the Scott Polar Research Institute will screen a film on the provisions of Antarctic expeditions in the 1950s.

Outside the University, the Cambridge American Cemetery, which is located in Madingley, will run an event on the food brought to Cambridge by American troops stationed around the city during WWII. Local people, who endured strict rationing, enjoyed gifts of tinned hams, jelly, and candy from their American wartime neighbours.  

In the central town, historian of Cambridge Honor Ridout will give an online talk on the history of the Market, while the Mill Road History Society will present a film on the history of Cambridge’s Indian restaurants by Shahida Rahman, an author born and raised in the city.