This Saturday Leicester will play host to a series of celebrations to mark St George’s Day, England’s national day. The festivities are arranged to kick start at noon when Lord Mayor of Leicester Cllr Mustafa Kamal will officially open the event in Orton Square, in the city’s cultural quarter.
To mark the anniversary of the English Patron Saint traditional customs will be revived, so there will be Morris dancing and folk music from the Red Fox Ceilidh Band. Local people are encouraged to participate, and there will be a dance caller teaching some basic routines so that everyone can get involved.
According to legend, St George slayed a dragon and rescued a princess, so it is fitting that the festivities will include a knight’s and princesses fancy dress parade with prizes for the best costumes, and will feature a friendly five metre-long fire breathing dragon. Children will also have the opportunity to decorate shields and take part in a dragon-hunt competition, as well as enjoying a visit from Sylvester the Jester. Youngsters can learn more about the saint’s history, as Leicester Libraries’ Book Bus will be in the square offering books to read and story-telling sessions.
Alongside the main events, there will also be alternative celebrations across Leicester. The market is putting on a re-enactment of the mythical tale of St George, with two performances at 11am and 1pm, and there will be circus training, balloon modelling and giant bubbles from Bill Brookman Street Arts. The LCB Depot will play host to Food and Floral Arts and visitors can go along to demonstrations and craft workshops from designers at The Maker’s Yard workspace.
Music will play an important part in the festivities; there will be live music at the Ale Wagon and Exchange Bar and the Phoenix Arts Centre’s Get Music event will showcase the region’s aspiring singer/songwriters from 1pm till 4pm.
Cllr Piara Singh Clair, Assistant city mayor for Culture, Heritage, Leisure and Sport said: “Our St George’s Festival has grown into a very exciting, fun-packed day with a huge range of activities for all of the family.
“There will be something going on in the Cultural Quarter or at Leicester Market throughout most of the day, so we hope people come along and join in the celebrations.”
For full details of all the activities on offer Visit: www.vistleicester.info/stgeorgesfestival