Monday, 22 April 2013


This article appears in today's Leicester Mercury:

Knights, cameras, action as the city salutes St George
by Tom Mack
Hundreds of people gathered in the sunshine to enjoy this year's St George's Festival.
Morris dancers, stilt walkers and youngsters dressed as knights and princesses were among the sights in the city's Cultural Quarter on Saturday afternoon.
There were also performances by young dancers, a chance to learn circus skills and live musical entertainment at the area's pubs.
CBeebies favourite Mike the Knight also made an appearance.
Claire Smith, 31, of Braunstone Town, was there with her two children, aged four and one.
She said: "We came down here for Mike the Knight because my children both love him.
"We've had a really nice time and it's beautiful weather."
Gareth Harper and Hannah Winn, who live in Braunstone Town, were also making the most of the weather.
Gareth, 30, said: "It's great. We came to see the parade of knights and princesses and we've also seen the morris dancing and I had a springbok and kangaroo burger from the market, which sounds like it might be hard to keep down!"
Hannah, 26, said: "I'm looking forward to seeing Mike the Knight because I always watch it with my five-year-old son."
Sisters Georgia and Ellie Bradbury, of Aylestone, were among the performers in Orton Square, dancing with fellow members of the Studio 79 street dance group.
Georgia, 13, said: "I was nervous but we've been rehearsing a lot in the last two weeks and it went all right."
Ellie, 10, said: "It's nice to see all the little children dressed up as knights and princesses."
The annual performance by Leicester Morris Men marked the beginning of their year of 60th anniversary celebrations. Dick Allsop, of Knighton, who danced with the group, said: "It seems the crowd is getting bigger and the weather is getting better each year."
Susan Shirley, 51, of Aylestone, was among the spectators.
"We're having a great time," she said. "I love the Morris dancing. It's a great tradition."
City mayor Sir Peter Soulsby was also enjoying the show.
He said: "There's a great mix of things going on. In the past, there have been one or two years when the crowd hasn't been very big. Of course, the weather helps a lot."
During the afternoon the nearby Phoenix cinema hosted live music from 12 young singer-songwriters and there were folk music sessions at the LCB Depot.
The Cultural Quarter festival ended with a ceilidh hosted by Leicester's Red Fox Band.
Elsewhere in the city centre on Saturday, the traditional battle between St George and Dragon was put on by the market's stallholders at 11am and 1pm.

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