Where: Greenwich (the route includes King William Walk, Nevada Street and Royal Hill)
£: Free (after race party raising money for Demelza Children’s Hospice costs £7 in advance or £10 on the door)
What is it?
On Sunday 22nd December, the 4th Annual Greenwich Charity Pantomime Horse Race takes place in Aid of Demelza Children’s Hospice. The race takes to the glorious streets of Greenwich in its zany quest to retain its self-appointed crown and completely made up title of The most fantastically bonkers London Xmas Charity Race of them all.
The race itself sees pantomime horses racing, or in most cases, staggering alongside one another. The event has steadily grown in popularity over the last few years in London and has managed to raise many thousands of pounds for Demelza Children’s Hospice in the process. The Pantomime Horse Race is organised by satirist and comedy writer, Mark Biddiss, who spends many months every year painstakingly putting together the race day events, helping raise money for the worthy cause. Each year his aim is to make it even more ridiculous looking than before.
The infamous route starts from Devonport House (King William Walk) and then blazes a sorry looking trail onto Greenwich streets, taking in many a much needed ‘pit stop’ along the way, courtesy of the local public houses. The route this year will take in The Kings Arms, The Greenwich Tavern, The Rose & Crown, Oliver’s, The Richard the 1st and The Union.
The nags will also be joined in the race by such sights as reindeer, zebras, and ‘celebrity-punned’ horses such as ‘Lord Alan Shergar’ and ‘Philly Allen’. Rumours are abound that Her Majesty the Queen (well ok, a look-a-like) will be joining the race via a Royal Rickshaw. London awaits with baited breath as to what costume comedian Arthur Smith will adorn this year. Last year he came dressed riding an Ostrich. The event will also herald the debut of the Greenwich Rocky Horse ‘The Rapscallion Stallion’. This daft Rocky Balboa obsessed panto horse can be seen on the YouTube clip below recreating the famous Rocky II training scenes in Greenwich.
The planned schedule for the day is as follows:
‘The ‘Pre-Race Ceremony’, 10.45am – 1pm
At Devonport House, King William Walk. The pre-race events are free to attend and will feature The Kings Troop (11.30am – 12 noon), the Greenwich Morris Men, a giant Santa, kids face painting and stalls. Be on the lookout for a special balcony appearance by ‘The Queen’, a Freddie Mercury impersonator and The Beatles impersonators.
The Pantomime Horse Race, 1pm – 2.15pm
Watch the race for free along the route which takes in King William Walk, Nevada Street, Burney Street and Royal Hill.
The After-Race Xmas Party, 2.45pm – 10.30pm
Takes place at The Greenwich Tavern, King William Walk and will feature live music from leading tribute acts. Tickets cost £7 and reservations can be made via [email protected].
All proceeds from all event will go direct to Demelza Children’s Hospice.
More info: pantohorserace.org