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Details of Leicester’s St George’s Day Celebrations

The feast of St George will be celebrated in Leicester this month – and this year there’s a brand new location for the annual festival.

England’s patron saint will be the inspiration for a packed programme of heritage-themed events in and around the Guildhall, the Cathedral and other sites in Leicester’s Old Town on Saturday 20 April.

Leicester Time: Details of Leicester's St George’s Day Celebrations
Picture: Leicester City Council

From 12 noon until 5pm, people of all ages will be able to enjoy traditional entertainment, historical re-enactments, outdoor theatre and guided tours of the historic venues, as well as food, drink, arts and crafts at a modern-day medieval market.

There’ll be performances by Morris dancers, as well as the chance to have a go at maypole dancing at Leicester’s Guildhall, where a live musician and a guide will lead visitors through the steps.

The old cells at the Guildhall will become a mini cinema for the day, screening a series of short films featuring knights, princesses and dragons, while members of the Lord Thomas Grey Regiment will be showing visitors their replica weapons, including some intimidating 14ft pikes!

In the Guildhall’s Great Hall, pie makers, craft brewers and confectioners will be amongst the traders in a ‘medieval’ market, while outside – on Guildhall Lane – festival goers will come face to face with the Vikings of Middle England.

Leicester Cathedral – home to the tomb of King Richard III – will be running guided tours that take in the fascinating story of the last Plantagenet king.

The cathedral will also host a storytelling session aimed at older children and adults, as well as market stalls showcasing produce and goods from local independent businesses. 

Outside, in the St Martin’s House car park, younger children can listen to a story at the city’s brand new electric BookBus, enjoy some dragon-themed outdoor theatre, and be entertained by Allin Kempthorne’s magic show.

There’ll be self-guided trails to follow, including a special St George’s Day Quest, with a small prize for those who complete the challenge.  Pick up the free quest map from the gazebo, which will be opposite the King Richard III Visitor Centre.

No St George’s Day event would be complete without St George himself and a fearsome dragon – and Leicester’s event will boast not one, but three.  

Look out for Inferno, the magnificent smoke-breathing dragon, who’ll prowl around the festival site, Brimstone, who’ll be surprising visitors in Cathedral Gardens, and an adorable baby dragon who’ll feature in the children’s magic show in the St Martin’s House car park.

Local pubs are joining the St George’s Day celebrations too, with some of Leicester’s most historic inns marking the festival weekend with some special offers for their customers. More information about the St George’s Day Ale Trail is available at

Assistant city mayor Cllr Vi Dempster said: “Our St George’s Day Festival is a great opportunity for people in the city to come together for a fun day out, with plenty of free and low-cost activities to enjoy.

“In its brand new location in Leicester’s Old Town, the festival is now perfectly placed to encourage visitors to discover more about the city’s history by exploring some of our finest heritage buildings.

“This year’s festival programme offers something for everyone, whatever their age, so I hope very much that people will enjoy taking part.”

Guildhall Lane will be closed to traffic, and parking prohibited, from 9am until 6pm on Saturday 20 April. Vehicles will be diverted via Loseby Lane and Grey Friars.

St George’s Day is traditionally celebrated on 23 April – the date in 303 AD when the execution of St George is believed to have taken place.  Leicester’s annual St George’s Day Festival takes place on the Saturday closest to 23 April.

For more information about the festival, including full details and timings, download the event programme at