A FESTIVAL aimed at fifty-somethings is being expanded for 2013 after the success of previous years.

South Lanarkshire Leisure's Young at Heart festival will run from Thursday, March 14. to Sunday, March 24.

After what council bosses describe as "the overwhelming success" of the past seven years, the eighth festival promises a wider range of activities than previous years.

Aimed at the 50-and-over age group, it aims to celebrate the arts as engaging and accessible to all, with the return of many popular events.

Scott Morrice, senior arts development officer with South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture, said: "The festival has grown every year and we are looking forward to building on the success of last year when more than 6000 people participated."

Entertainment includes the popular free afternoon music recitals, a craft fair, exhibitions and tea dances.

New events include a classic film screening of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes starring Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell, informative talks and a range of craft workshops such as felting or jewellery making.

Also on offer is a selection of afternoon and evening performances of theatrical and musical events. Two of Scotland's most popular entertainers, Peter Morrison and Alastair McDonald, will perform a series of afternoon concerts throughout South Lanarkshire.

This year's festival will conclude with a special evening featuring conversation and music from Barbara Dickson at The Town House in Hamilton.

Arts in the Park will take place at Chatelherault Country Park on Sunday, March 17.

The event on the first Sunday of the Festival encourages grandparents, aunts, uncles and more mature relatives to join the family for a day out at the park where there will be a range of activities for all.

Copies of the Young at Heart brochure are available at libraries and other council venues throughout South Lanarkshire or call Hamilton Town House on 01698 452299 to request a brochure to be mailed to you.

The brochure is also downloadable at www.slleisureandculture.co.uk/festivals

stef.lach@ heraldandtimes.co.uk