Monday, 23 April 2012


This article appears in today's Leicester Mercury:

Crowds enjoy patriot games at St George's Day celebrations
Knights, princesses and a court jester kept the crowds entertained as the county celebrated St George's Day.
Hundreds of families headed to Orton Square, Leicester, to join in crafts activities, take maypole dancing lessons, and see a kings and queens-themed fancy dress parade.
For three-year-old Olivia Miller, of Rothley, it was all about the morris dancers.
"I liked it when they danced with the bells, and I thought they were really funny," she said. "The man's hat fell off and it made me laugh, and I like the sticks they carry."
Mum Ruth Ingram, 45, said: "I think this is brilliant. Things like this are a great opportunity for Olivia to get out and see different things.
"We should really celebrate getting out and enjoying the streets of Leicester."
Drawings of dragons were hidden around the cultural quarter. Oumnia Abounovar, seven, was determined to find them all and mark them on her map. "I've come here to find the dragons," she said.
Mum Rachel, 46, from the city centre, added: "We came to support a friend who is playing in the band, but with the weather being dry for the moment it's a good opportunity to get out and make use of this lovely space here."
Curve theatre hosted Makers Mart, a craft and design fair, while Phoenix Square ran arts and crafts workshops, followed by a screening of the film How to Train Your Dragon.
In Loughborough, all-girl morris dancing group Bare Bones painted their faces before entertaining the crowds.
Councillor Paul Harley, cabinet member for leisure and culture, said: "I think St George's Day is a thoroughly under-celebrated event.
"St Patrick's Day, Burn's Night and St David's Day are always popular so it's great to mark St George's Day, too."
Street theatre performances featuring St George and his dragon, a Punch and Judy show and a zumba session kept Hinckley town centre busy on Saturday.
In Coalville, St George, his dragon and a damsel in distress visited Belvoir shopping centre, while Leicestershire Co-op Brass Band played traditional tunes.
The rain poured down on hundreds of Beavers, Cubs and Scouts, during their annual St George's Day parade on Sunday.
Youngsters braved the weather, many carrying flags and banners representing their groups, as brass bands and drummers set the pace.
The groups split as they left the market, one heading for Leicester Cathedral and the other for Bishop Street church.
Dan Harrison, seven, of the 53rd Leicester Birstall Beavers, said: "We've come to do a walk around the city and that. It is because of a dragon and St George."
Beaver Joseph Hallet, eight, said: "I like Beavers because we get to do lots of different things, like this walk, but also loads of games and activities."
The celebrations were due to continue today at Leicester Market, from 11am, where there was to be a knight tournament, medieval craft demonstrations and games to play.
There was also to be a re-enactment of St George rescuing a damsel in distress from the clutches of a dragon at 12.15pm and 2pm.

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