St George's Day EventsPosted on: 09 April 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves
There's plenty of entertainment to honour England's patron saint this April, so we roundup highlights over the country.
Think England doesn't celebrate its patron saint day? Then think again! For 2008 there's lots going on across England in honour of St George.
Events around 23rd April range from literature, theatre and music to the opportunity to indulge in tasty English food, plus fun days out to entertain the whole family, including dragon hunts and knight schools for the grandchildren.
Will The Real St George Please Stand Up?
Find out how much we really know about England's patron saint, and join the campaign for a 23rd April bank holiday.
St George's Day London, Wednesday 23rd
London celebrates with free events including food stalls, parades, children's activities and more. The day gives you the chance to fly the flag with pride and celebrate English heritage with special events such as the popular annual Shakespeare's Birthday Celebrations at the Globe Theatre, a festival for St George at Covent Garden and a parade at the Cenotaph. In Trafalgar Square 'Food Glorious Food' offers many mouth watering food stalls to sample from some of Borough Market's finest suppliers.
Looking For A New England - Billy Bragg Barbican Hall, London, Wednesday 23rd
An alternative celebration of St George's Day with a rich offering of English cultural delights of music and literature, all curated by the 'Progressive Patriot' himself, with Rachel Unthank & the Winterset, Tom Clarke (The Enemy) and Kitty, Daisy & Lewis. Singer-songwriter and guitarist Bragg, who made his mark with his heartfelt, rough-hewn songs on a string of classic albums in the 1980s, has become preoccupied with the concept of Englishness, which inspired his 2002 CD England, Half English.
St George's Day Festival Wrest Park, Bedfordshire, Saturday 19th & Sunday 20th - EH (English Heritage)
Join English Heritage for the largest and longest running St George's Day extravaganza in the country, with dramatic equestrian displays, falconry, children's theatre and a historic market. Try traditional games, make mischief with the jugglers or visit the living history camps. Root for saintly St George himself or the dastardly dragon as they battle it out. New for 2008 is the St George Academy where budding valiant knights can train to become as mighty and gallant as St George himself. For the very first time St George will be meeting and greeting the people of his proud nation so watch out for him as he strolls amongst the crowd.
St George's Dragon Trail For Children - EH
Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens, Northumberland Saturday 19th, Sunday 20th, Saturday 26th & Sunday 27th
Framlingham Castle, Suffolk, Saturday 26th & Sunday 27th
Audley End House and Gardens, Essex Saturday 26th & Sunday 27th
Old Wardour Castle, Wiltshire Saturday 19th & Sunday 20th
Calling all dragon hunters. St George needs your help to find all the mini dastardly dragons before they distress the damsels. Your dragon-hunting skills will be rewarded with a small prize.
St. George's Day Children's Challenge 1066 Battle of Hastings Abbey and Battlefield, East Sussex, Saturday 26th & Sunday 27th - EH
Calling all budding dragon slayers. Learn the skills of archery, sword fighting, stage combat and knights training before you embark on your quest to slay the dastardly dragon. A full day out of fun for kids of all ages.
St George The Roman Housesteads Roman Fort, Hadrian's Wall, Northumberland, Saturday 19th & Sunday 20th - EH
The stories of St George have Roman origins, and legend has it that he was a Roman soldier who stood up against his Emperor. You too can experience life as a Roman soldier when you join the Centurion in military drill.
A Victorian St George's Weekend Scarborough Castle, North Yorkshire, Saturday 26th & Sunday 27th - EH
Make way for the grand pageant of St George in the presence of her majesty - Queen Victoria. Join the Redcoat soldiers and musicians as they celebrate St George's day with military drill, rifle firing and a pageant in his honour. Meet the mysterious knight himself, mounted in shining armour as he faces a Saracen knight, and his famous foe, the dragon in a play to entertain the Queen. There are an exciting range of children's have-a-go activities and a series of Victorian music performances throughout the day, plus a chance to meet Queen Victoria herself.
St George - With A Twist In The Tale Carlisle Castle, Cumbria, Saturday 19th & Sunday 20th - EH
Join the Inner State Theatre with their distinctive rendition of the encounter between St George and a passing dragon - with a surprising twist in the dragon's tale.
St George's Weekend Kenilworth Castle, Warwickshire, Saturday 26th & Sunday 27th - EH
Medieval themed falconry displays with Raphael Falconry and meet a medieval St George and Dragon.
A Medieval St George's Day Bolsover Castle, Derbyshire, Sunday 20th - EH
Celebrate St George's Day with medieval knights as they demonstrate skilled combat displays. Children can also take part in a 'kids drill' and hear traditional tales of St George.
Medieval Courtly Combat Beeston Castle, Cheshire, Saturday 26th & Sunday 27th - EH
Witness the clash of steel as the Knights perform a medieval 'Tournament of Foote'. Enjoy this living history spectacle as weapons and skills are displayed. There's also chance to try your hand at the noble art of archery.
Medieval St George's Weekend: Have-a-go Archery & Medieval Storytelling Richmond Castle, North Yorkshire, Saturday 19th & Sunday 20th April - EH
14th-century archers demonstrate the ancient and noble art of archery in honour of St George, with have-a-go sessions for all the family. Plus, join the medieval costumed storyteller in the keep for fascinating stories of St George, heroes and chivalry.
Medieval St George's Day Lindisfarne Priory, Northumberland, Saturday 26th & Sunday 27th - EH
Join the medieval townsfolk as they celebrate St George's Day with demonstrations of archery skills and feasting. Then greet St George, as he faces a Saracen knight, and his famous foe, the dragon in unique mummer's plays.
St George Trail Dunster Castle, Somerset, 18th - 20th April - NT (National Trust)
With the National Trust's St George trail you will embark upon a knight's quest to hunt down all the dragons hidden in the castle grounds.
Mythical Knights, Dragons & Wizards Avebury, Wiltshire, 18th - 20th - NT
Enjoy half-term with the mythical theme of wizards, dragons and knights. All knights are invited to go hunting for dragons with the fun trail and then in the craft corner you can make your own dragon fly.
Be A Knight Tatton Park, Cheshire, 19th - 20th - NT
At Tatton Park you have the chance to meet the resident knights in armour at the Old Hall, have a go at archery, learn about history and heraldry, make your own family crest and then marvel at the Morris Dancers in the stableyard.
Knights & Storytelling Castle Drogo, Devon, 19th - 20th - NT
Let their very own knight teach you about all you need to know about armour, then you can enjoy fun storytelling with the Captain of the West who will tell you tales of dastardly dragons.
Dragon Trail Petworth House & Park, West Sussex, 20th - NT
Find out about the legend of St. George and the Dragon with the fun Dragon trail around the grounds of Petworth House and Park, but remember to be quiet so that you don't wake the sleeping dragon hiding in the Doric Temple!
William Shakespeare's Birthday Stratford-upon-Avon, Wednesday 23rd - Saturday 26th
Tradition holds that the 23rd April is William Shakespeare's birthday, three days prior to the date recorded in the church records for his baptism. In Stratford-upon-Avon, the Bard's hometown, ambassadors, townspeople, directors and thousands of onlookers come to participate in the Shakespeare's Birthday parade on Saturday.
Celebrate St George's Day - Street Theatre Blists Hill Victorian Town, Shropshire, Saturday 19th - Wednesday 23rd
The Prince Albert Players, travelling actors from Blists Hill Victorian Town in the Ironbridge Gorge, Shropshire, will perform the legend of St George and the Dragon at the open-air museum. It will be the first time that this type of street theatre has taken place at Blists Hill. The simple twenty minute performance, using props taken from a barrow, will take place each day, and there will be no extra charge to visitors. Also at Blists Hill, visitors will be able to experience a bygone era as they meander through the homes, shops and workshops of the open-air living history museum, which recreates life in the late 19th century. Admission charges apply.
St George's Day Joust & Fayre Cressing Temple, Essex, Saturday 19th & Sunday 20th
Celebrate the day's patron saint at a full weekend showcasing warfare through the ages. Marvel at mounted knights crossing lances, catch knights in shining armour and archers in battle. Sideshows all day and a medieval market - plus quality catering and real ale bar.
George & The Dragon Tutbury Castle, Staffordshire,
Medieval Mummers Play out their ancient story of the Patron Saint of England, St George, as he does battle with the dragon. The popular Vikings of Middle England are the enactors playing the famous characters with lots of cheering and booing expected. Interestingly, the George & Dragon play has been performed at the Castle for the past 700 years for the entertainment of the Lords and Ladies who lived here.
St George's Day Events: www.stgeorgesdayevents.org.uk
English Heritage: www.english-heritage.org.uk
National Trust: www.nationaltrust.org.uk
Shakespeare Birthplace Trust: www.shakespeare.org.uk
Cressing Temple: www.cressingtemple.org.uk
Tutbury Castle: www.tutburycastle.com
England tourist information: www.enjoyengland.com
England tourist information St George's Day website: www.celebratestgeorgesday.com
Photos: English Heritage - Wrest Park
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