The Beast from the East has delayed the end of winter by an extra week. Despite this, we've got a full calendar to keep you busy including International Women's Day and St Patrick's Day celebrations along with the usual offerings in theatre, exhibitions and even a bit of jousting (you read that right).
The country's first Hop-led Beer Festival arrives in Leeds on Easter Weekend from the 29th to the 31st of the month. I'm sure you could guess who may be hosting but if not, our good friends Northern Monk will be giving the festival its home this year. Hop City will host thirty three breweries, showcasing their beers from around the country and further field including Denmark, Sweden and USA. Tickets and more info can be found here.
Hosting one of the biggest beer festivals of the year isn't all Northern Monk are up to this month though. On the 4th, they're showcasing themselves as a potential wedding host. Their Wedding Fair is offering a Northern Monk goody bag to the first 50 couples who pop down. As expected there'll be St. Patrick's day goodness too, with Boundary Brewery from Belfast bringing their beer to the brewery on the 17th, whilst on the 20th there's a whiskey sampling session coupled with a serving of hearty Irish Stew. We could be spending more time on Marshall Street than expected this month.
If you're interested in art, there's a unique opportunity on the 3rd and 4th of March at the Tetley with the longest running artists' book fair outside of London arriving in Leeds. There'll be over 50 stalls being ran by artists, collectives and independent publishers who aren't only their to sell but to discuss their work and the thinking behind it. A series of workshops and presentations will be held over the weekend too.
The ever popular Family Art Workshop will be running on the 10th and 24th too, with a focus on creating a live sound installation and sculptures from various materials. The current resident exhibitions have proved immensely popular also; we wrote about them in more detail last month but these explorations of the public spaces of Pakistan are well worth a trip to see.
Holbeck Elderly Aid do some incredible work in the area, preventing loneliness of older people by providing regular activities and services in the LS11 area that promote Health, Well-Being and Independence. This month they've got a great offering for people to get involved with.
There's a trip to Liverpool Albert Dock including a visit to the Beatles Story Museum on the 15th of March. Tickets are £23.50 and include all transport and tickets for the day.
On the 27th of March for a few hours in the afternoon there's a 3 course lunch for Easter for £5. Please call 0113 245 5553 to book a place or find out menu options.
In addition to this, there's a great deal of activities and meal services running every day of the month. Further information on the activities can be found by clicking here and downloading the HEA newsletter, or by calling 0113 245 5553.
The range of events offered at Duke Studios is always impressive. The highlight this month is their Girl Talks monthly meet-up celebrating International Women's Day. All are welcome on the 8th of March and this is the perfect chance to not only have a chat and meet new people, but to hear from women making a positive impact in areas including cinema, artwork, music and period poverty.
The diversity of events in South Bank is further exemplified by Slunglow's Holbeck Underground Ballroom - easily our favourite theatre space in Leeds that stays true to its roots offering a Pay What You Decide policy for tickets. There's an action packed month of events in March including a showcase of the European Arts Festival on the 10th, made up of 3 extraordinary 30 minute-long shows from the UK, Spain and France/Portugal. As always these shows will challenge your preconceptions in a thought-provoking way, exploring themes of language, love and loss.
On the 16th there's a night of live music, food, drinks and fundraising in aid of Yorkshire Aid, who work together to provide aid for refugees and asylum seekers. Support the amazing work they do by popping down for the evening with support from local music artists and even a bakery.
Finally on the 25th, Leaving comes to the HUB. The play explores the real stories of those who spent time in care, at the moment when they leave. This will be an immersive and powerful experience featuring an ensemble cast full of their own true to life stories to tell.
Royal Armouries are hosting some real life jousting events this month. On the 24th and 25th there'll be knights in training for the Easter Tournament. You and the family can come down and not only watch, but meet the knights and horses themselves who will be competing. Then the following the weekend, from the 30th of March to the 2nd of April, the tournament itself will be taking place at the Armouries. It goes without saying that this is a rare chance to see authentic, medieval style jousting live in the flesh: not one to miss!
Finally, our resident colleges are hosting a couple of open days in the month giving prospective engineers, mechanics, plumbers, electricians and more the chance to get a better feel for the courses on offer.
The 15th is the date for Leeds College of Building, from 5-7pm with a showcase of the resources and facilities on offer in the heart of South Bank. The 28th will see Leeds City College's open evening from 4-7pm, including the award-winning Printworks Campus in South Bank.
Hopefully there's enough here to keep you busy this month!