It is one of the best loved events in Oxfordshire’s ‘cultural’ calendar. The Charlbury Beer Festival may not have the cachet of Glastonbury – that other drink-fuelled feast of fun which takes place the same weekend – but, to its fans, it is every bit as exciting... not least because it also hosts the Aunt Sally World Championships

The Charlbury Beer Festival, which takes place today, attracts up to 3,000 people for a family day out. With an unrivalled selection of real ales from around the country, it is believed to be the largest independent one-day beer festival in the country.

And it is the 'Wembley' of practitioners of the sport of Aunt Sally - a game largely confined to Oxfordshire, and fiercely contested.

A major charity fundraiser, the festival has generated cash for community projects, both in the Charlbury area and overseas.

Last year saw its total of funds raised for good causes to over £230,000, and that is expected to rise to a quarter of a million pounds this year.

Charlbury Cricket Club provides a glorious setting, barely two minutes from Charlbury Station, with excellent all-day (including late night) bus and train services to Charlbury from Oxford, Chipping Norton, Witney, Worcester and London.

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And this year’s event offers some stellar attractions which are out of this world.

Nick Millea, the beer festival’s spokesman says: “We all know that we’re nearing the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing, but where in Oxfordshire can you expect to find a Great Leap and tribute to Buzz Aldrin?”

He adds: “You won’t need a Rocket to the Moon for a spot of Moongazing or even attempting a Moondance, but if the Big Bang Theory is the sort of thing you like to contemplate on Starry Nights staring at the Milky Way in search of your favourite White Star, then the 22nd Charlbury Beer Festival is the place for you to come and sample Cosmic Brew and 47 other real ales.

Visitors will be guaranteed sunshine (or maybe moonshine) and you’ll be able to see as far as the moon if we have a clear evening.”

The festival takes place at Charlbury Cricket Club from noon.

And there is an added incentive to those thinking of dressing up for the occasion.

Nick says: “There is free admission to anybody dressed as an astronaut – or who arrives by rocket!”

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