When: 4th May 2014
Where: Blackawton, Devon
What is it?
Blackawton has held an annual worm charming event since 1984 and it has gone from strength to strength every year. The day begins at 11am, gathering outside the Normandy Arms. Charmers must be registered by 12 noon (this takes place by the bus stop). Then there is a parade through Blackawton village with stops for maypole dancing and the toasting of the worm. The procession ends at a secret venue for the worm charming.
This year the Blackawton International Festival of Wormcharming takes place on 4th May. The event will be marking the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War with a First Worm War theme. So if you fancy taking part, you’d better wriggle into your best combat gear and head to the Blackawton battleground. There are prizes for the best costumes, so the more effort you put in the better! The winner of the worm charming contest will get their name inscribed on a special shield alongside the previous winners.
How does the competition work? Teams are given a one metre square plot and are allowed 5 minutes to ‘worm up’ before being given 15 minutes to get as many worms ‘charmed’ out of the ground as possible. Digging and forking is not permitted.
Each worm charming team is made up of three members; a Charmerer, a Pickerer and a Counterer. Beware, any competitors caught cheating will be put in the stocks or publicly humiliated! The worm charming officials are made up of the Worm Master who presides over the festival and the International Judge makes sure the rules are upheld. Then there is the Official Cheat who tempts entrants to cheat by offering them worms, and finally, Old Father Worm Charming who offers advice and guidance to the worm charmers.
After the worm charming event there will be a dog show with classes for the waggiest tail, scruffiest dog, appealing-eyed dog, best handled dog and many more. The dog show costs £1 per dog for each class entered.
Local pub, The George Inn, will also be hosting a beer festival and live music on the day. Returning this year will be Crooked Tempo, a twenty-five piece samba band, which really got the crowd jigging last year.
More info: www.wormcharming.co.uk