A festival celebrating asparagus came to the city yesterday as part of the St George’s Day celebrations.
Costumed performers from the Vale of Evesham’s Asparagus Festival put on a performance at the Town Hall Square in Leicester, to mark the 750th anniversary of the battle of Evesham – in which the 6th Earl of Leicester, Simon De Montfort, was killed.
The two-month long festival first started as it is seen today in 2008 and signifies the start of the UK’s asparagus season. The events in Leicester marked the start of the annual festival, which this year will be taking place from 23rd April until 21st June.
Part of the day’s events included the formal handover of a ‘100 round’ of asparagus by a performer, Gus the asparagus man, to Leicester’s Lord Mayor Cllr John Thomas. In addition to this proceeding, costumed Asparagus Festival characters put on a performance for spectators by dancing around Gus the asparagus man.
At the celebrations at the town Hall Square, there was also the world’s only know “asparamancer,” who makes clairvoyant predictions based on how asparagus lands after being thrown in the air.
Organisers want to promote the asparagus through different events and performances throughout the festival.
Cooking demonstrations are also part of the proceedings, to demonstrate recipes that include the green, spring vegetable.
The tourism officer of Wychavon District Council, Angela Tidmarsh believes that it is a, “very quirky festival and fun for all the family.”
“[asparagus is] so important to us, especially in the Vale of Evesham, a very horticultural area, and obviously the asparagus has a very short season, starting from today St George’s day and finishing on mid-summer’s day, so we have to make use of these few short weeks to celebrate its existence.”
“Every spear of asparagus grown in England is eaten in England. You can’t go abroad and eat English asparagus.”
Asparagus is apparently a popular vegetable as it is, “supposed to be an aphrodisiac, that’s why a lot of people like it.”