Celebrate St George’s Day at the country’s largest annual celebration: Saturday 22 & Sunday 23 April, 10am-6pm
The country’s largest St George’s Day celebration, which will see England’s patron saint celebrated with plenty of pomp, pageantry and patriotic flag waving, will return to Wrest Park in Bedfordshire across the weekend of Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 April.
Thousands of people are expected to visit the blockbuster event organised by English Heritage, where a host of entertainers spanning 2000 years of history will line up to mark St George’s special day and see the ultimate showdown with the hot-headed dragon. ‘Quintessentially English’ is the theme for this year’s St George’s festival and visitors will get to immerse themselves in the story of England as they journey through 20 centuries of the country’s rich history.
Old favourites such as the Grand Medieval Joust and Clash of Knights will be returning to the event, but 2017 will also see the addition of some new attractions. Children will get to bring out their inner James Bond as they learn ciphers and codes, a Norman fashion show will take place in the Living History Zone and the ever-popular falconry displays will be given a 1920s makeover. Meanwhile Rebellion! another new addition, will tell the story of England in the 17th Century and the infantry of the Civil War.
But the highlight of the weekend will undoubtedly be the battle between gallant St George – resplendent in shining armour and astride his noble steed – as he takes on his fiery green nemesis.
Cate Milton, Events Manager at English Heritage, said: “Whether you love our patron saint, are intrigued by learning more about England’s story, or are simply looking for a great day out for the whole family, there’s plenty going on at St George’s Day Festival this year. This showpiece weekend at Wrest Park is the perfect place to see 2,000 years of history in action, with spellbinding shows, explosive displays, hands-on activities and much more, the only challenge will be fitting everything in!”
Visitors to this year’s event will have more things to see and do than ever before. They will be able to picnic with Georgian ladies, see the Imperial Roman Army as they display their impressive infantry training techniques and the shooting range of their artillery weapons, discover the art of 1930s equestrianism in the side-saddle display and watch the archery contest as the might of the longbow is pitched against firepower of medieval soldiers
The colourful living history encampment will bring the grounds of Wrest Park to life, as well as provide a rolling programme of entertainment throughout each day. For children, nonsense and frivolity will also be in order, with entertainers including the popular Peterkin the Jester, mini battles for kids, storytelling, circus skills, musicians and even hobby horse jousting for all those budding St Georges. There will be an authentic historic market to wander around and a variety of catering offers including a café in the beautiful surroundings of the Wrest Park Orangery.
The St George’s festival at Wrest Park will run from 10am-6pm on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 April. English Heritage is offering a 10% discounts for ticket bookings made online in advance of the event. Weekend tickets and group packages are also available. For more information and admission prices, visit www.english-heritage.org.uk/wrest