Share this page

Family fun marks St George’s Festival

Published on Thursday, April 20, 2017

A DAY of free activities in Leicester city centre will mark the festival of England’s patron saint this Saturday (22 April).

The annual St George’s Festival will take place in Orton Square and venues across the Cultural Quarter, while Leicester Market will host a family-friendly re-enactment of St George’s encounter with the dragon.

From 12 noon, visitors to Orton Square will be able to take part in some traditional maypole dancing, watch the Leicester Morris Men, enjoy songs and stories inspired by St George and the dragon, and pop in to a local bar for some traditional real ale or a glass of English mead.

Youngsters are encouraged to dress up as knights and princesses and help spot the dragon when he appears in Orton Square at 1pm and 3.30pm. They can also enjoy balloon modelling, some giant bubbles, face painting, and free arts and crafts activities. There will be prizes for the best-dressed knights and princesses, with a costume parade in Orton Square at 2.15pm. 

The St George’s Festival in Orton Square runs from 12 noon, with a rousing finale from 4pm until 5pm.

At Leicester Market, members of Leicester University’s theatre society will tell the story of St George and the dragon in their own unique way.

The story has been brought up to date with some local references and some tongue-in-cheek humour, but the traditional story of the damsel in distress will be at the heart of the performance.

Enjoy the free show at Leicester Market at 11am and 1pm – with a few lucky spectators receiving a symbolic English rose.

In the Cultural Quarter, the LCB Depot on Rutland Street will host art-based activities and sing-along workshops from 12.30pm to 4.30pm, while refreshments will be available from its coffee shop.

Makers’ Yard, the Leicester Print Workshop and Two Queens will open their doors to the public too, with hands-on activities and exhibitions, while the Exchange will host its annual beer festival throughout the day and the Ale Wagon will offer real ale and a live folk session from 5.30pm.

Cllr Piara Singh Clair, assistant city mayor for culture, leisure and sport, said: “The St George’s Festival is one of the highlights of our annual festival programme, with a day of free activities and entertainment that families can enjoy together.

“It’s also an opportunity to explore some of the creative spaces in the Cultural Quarter that you may not have been to before.”

More information about the St George’s Festival is at www.visitleicester.info and a free festival leaflet is available from Visit Leicester on Gallowtree Gate.

On St George’s Day itself (Sunday 23 April), local Scouts will be taking part in their annual parade in the city’s West End. To allow the parade to pass safely, a number of rolling road closures will be in place in the area.

The rolling closures will affect Western Boulevard (between its junctions with Braunstone Gate and The Newarke), The Newarke (between Western Boulevard and Castle View), Castle View (between The Newarke and Castle Street), and Castle Street (between Southgates and Castle View).

Restrictions will be in place between 1pm and 5pm on Sunday (23 April).