Leicester’s celebrations for St George’s Day commence this weekend in the Cultural Quarter.
The St George’s Day Festival, which is run by the city council, will host a series of events for all ages beginning at 12 noon and going on until late in the afternoon this Saturday.
The festival welcomes a variety of performers and acts to the city, offering people the opportunity to celebrate England’s day of patriarchy. The festival sees a day full of activities to try, and fun things to do for all the family; including the fancy dress parade and the dragon hunt.
Leicester’s Lord Mayor Councillor John Thomas will open the festivities accompanied by Morris dancers from the Leicester Morris Men in Orton Square at midday.
For the young audiences Captain Barnacles and Kwazii from children’s television show Octonauts will make a personal appearance at 12.30pm and 3pm in Orton Square; along with ‘Tiny’ the 125 million year old dinosaur.
There will be a parade of Knights and Princesses around Orton Square, led by Sylvesta the Jester before a live folk band ‘Swinging Molly’ take to the stage between 4-5pm. The Ale Wagon will be running folk music sessions and offering traditional English Ales from 5pm onwards.
Amongst the live acts there will be workshops for the public; Bill Brookman will be hosting street art workshops in Halford Square of which will include examples of circus skills, balloon modelling, and bubble making. Along with this, The LCB Depot in Rutland Street will be offering ‘have a go’ sessions to visitors in folk music, as well as hosting an art exhibition showcasing woodland themes whilst nearby, Makers’ Yard will be running arts and crafts workshops and guided tours of the city.
During the afternoon, Curve Theatre will be showcasing local young singer/songwriters at Get Music, which runs from 1.30pm to 4.30pm on Saturday. The theatre will also play host to the Lyric Lounge, with a range of performances, workshops, and jam sessions.
As well as the workshops and large events there will be displays of Maypole Dancing at various times throughout the afternoon, and face painting session, art tents, and a storytelling session in the book bus of which will all be held within the Orton Square.
While the main festivities take place on Saturday, April 25, a smaller series of events takes place in the city centre on St George’s Day itself on Thursday 23 April. On the day, St George will battle the dastardly dragon and save the damsel in distress in the annual enactment at Leicester Market at 11am and 1pm.
St George’s Day Festival organiser Dawson Smith said: “Every year the St George’s Day celebrations in and around Orton Square get bigger and more popular, and this year is no exception. There are a huge range of events, both in Orton Square and in nearby venues, so there’s sure to be something to cater for all tastes and ages.”