Plans for Leicester’s action packed St George’s Day celebrations have been revealed, and include dragons, falcons and maypole dancing.
The patron saint of England will be celebrated on Saturday, April 22 – the day before St George’s Day, with a family friendly festival returning to Orton Square.
The packed programme of activities in and around the city’s Cultural Quarter gets under way at 12 noon on the day, with a welcome from the Lord Mayor and dancing from the Leicester Morris Men.
There will be lots of things to see and do, including a dragon trail, a falcon with its handler, puppetry, circus skills and stilt walking, as well as arts and crafts, maypole dancing, and storytelling inspired by St George and the Dragon.
It wouldn’t be St George’s Day without a dragon, and visitors to Orton Square will be able to meet not one but two: Sapphire the Dragon will join the fun at 1pm, while Blaze the Mighty Dragon will make his entrance at 2.10pm.
Young children are invited to turn up to the event dressed as knights, princesses or dragons so they’re ready to take part in a costume parade at 3pm. Those wishing to take part are asked to register at the information point in Orton Square by 2.45pm.
Elsewhere in the Cultural Quarter, LCB Depot on Rutland Street will host a Textiles Takeover until 4.30pm, where visitors will be able to learn embroidery, knitting and crochet skills. Refreshments, including a special St George’s menu, will be available from its coffee shop.
There’ll be medieval crafts at Curve, creative crafts and live music at The Exchange, and cricket reimagined from 11am-1pm, thanks to Sixes Social Cricket.
St George’s Orthodox Serbian Church will be open to visitors from 12 noon – 4pm, while award-winning restaurant Chutney Ivy gets into the spirit of the occasion by adding a Dragon Fiery Feast to its lunchtime menu.
The makers at Maker’s Yard will be showcasing their arts and crafts from 12 noon until 4pm, Phoenix Cinema & Arts Centre will create a digital dragon, while the Two Queens Gallery will welcome visitors to its studios.
“St George’s Festival is always a great day out for the family and a fantastic way to explore Leicester’s Cultural Quarter,” said Leicester City Council’s senior festival & events officer Kellie Bugby.
“This year, we’re grateful for the support of even more businesses in the area, which means there are more events at more venues than ever before.
“Don’t forget that our festival will take place on Saturday 22 April – that’s the day before St George’s Day, so make sure you don’t miss it! There will be lots of free activities on offer, both in Orton Square and in nearby venues, that I hope people of all ages will be able to enjoy together.”
A free programme for the St George’s Festival, which runs from 12 noon to 5pm on Saturday 22 April, can be picked up from the Visit Leicester information centre at 4A St Martins (LE1 5DB).