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Family fun marks festival of St George

Published on Thursday, April 4, 2019

Morris men

ENGLAND’S patron saint will be celebrated in Leicester later this month as the city’s annual St George’s Festival gets under way.

The packed programme of events – for people of all ages – takes place on Saturday 20 April in and around the Cultural Quarter.

Events get under way in Orton Square at 12noon, with dancing from the Leicester Morris Men and a welcome from the Lord Mayor.

Visitors will be able to have a go at maypole dancing, enjoy songs and storytelling inspired by St George and the Dragon, and take part in a range of arts and crafts activities.

As well as music and mirth, visitors can also look forward to a walkabout by an enormous T.rex – Leicester’s very own friendly dragon.

The giant ‘Dinosaurus’ will be in Orton Square at 1pm and 3pm.

Young children will be able to dress up as knights or princesses and join in the costume parade at 2.15pm, while everyone is welcome to join the festival’s rousing finale – with live music and a mass folk dance – at 4pm.

Elsewhere in the Cultural Quarter, the LCB Depot on Rutland Street will host family activities, live music and entertainment from 11am, with freshly-prepared food and drink available from its coffee shop until 4pm.

Leicester Print Workshop will offer lots of creative hands-on activities from 11am until 2pm, while the Two Queens Gallery will invite visitors behind the scenes from 12 noon until 6pm.

As part of the festivities, a traditional English pub – The Ale Wagon – will offer real ale and a live folk session from 5.30pm, while The Exchange will host its annual beer festival from 12 noon.

Away from the Cultural Quarter, New Walk Museum is joining in the St George’s day fun too. From 11am until 4pm on Saturday (20 April), youngsters can take part in ‘Colour Me Roarsome!’ – a free activity to brighten up a rather pale dragon that’s appeared in the museum’s Victorian art gallery.

Children are invited to pop in and create some colourful scales for the dragon, which they can then add to the giant collage.

City council festivals and events manager Maggie Shutt said: “Our St George’s Festival is always a great day out for the whole family.

“There will be songs, stories and dressing-up for very young children to enjoy, older children will enjoy creating dragons and other mythical beasts on the printing press at the Leicester Print Workshop, while everyone can have a go at maypole dancing or have a selfie with our Dinosaurus!

“We look forward to welcoming everyone to Orton Square on Saturday 20 April to celebrate the festival of St George with some free family fun.”   

On St George’s Day itself (Tuesday 23 April), Leicester Market will join in the fun with a free storytelling event in Corn Exchange square. From 11am until 3pm, there will be plenty of tales about brave knights and fierce dragons – as well as a special appearance by a very friendly dragon. If it’s raining, the storytelling will take place in the Leicester Libraries’ Bookbus.

And at Abbey Pumping Station, there’s a special St George’s Day Railway Day. From 11am until 4pm, children will be able to enjoy a ride on the narrow gauge railway (50p) or have fun with the Dragon Hunt Trail. Admission to the museum is free of charge – and families are welcome to bring a picnic and enjoy it in the museum’s gardens.

A free programme for the St George’s Festival can be picked up from Visit Leicester on Gallowtree Gate or can be downloaded at visitleicester.info