When: 23rd & 24th April 2016, 10am – 5pm
Where: Blists Hill Victorian Town, Ironbridge, Shropshire
£: Admission costs £17.95 for adults and £11.85 for children (annual tickets are also available).
What is it?
The residents of Blists Hill Victorian Town in Shropshire’s Ironbridge Gorge will be celebrating St George, the patron saint of England, over the weekend of 23rd and 24th April.
The streets will be decorated in patriotic red and white colours for the event. Visitors will be able to join in the patriotic parade, take part in a dragon hunt and see a re-enactment of the famous tale of St George and the Dragon.
Circling around the historic streets of Blists Hill, the parade will start at 2pm outside the Printers. Visitors are encouraged to dress as a bold English knight, princess or greedy dragon. Watch out for the ‘Master of The Parade’, who will be looking for recruits to join in the procession and giving spot prizes for the best outfits. The fun open-air performance of St George’s legendary slaying of the Dragon will be performed by the Prince Albert Players at 2.30pm each day.
Other family activities will include candle dipping, using Victorian techniques to make multi-coloured candles to take home, and a lesson in the school house at 12 noon. Alternatively, visitors can ride on the horse-drawn bus between 1.30pm and 3pm, or follow a self-led trail to find the dragons lurking around the town. You can also take part in a big craft activity where you can design your own dragon’s scale to add to the grizzly dragon taking over the Goods Shed. There’s also a sing-a-long in the New Inn at 1pm and 4pm.
The story of St George and the Dragon, which probably dates back to the 12th century, represents the triumph of good over evil. According to the legend, a town was being terrorised by a dragon, who demanded a regular sacrifice and it was now the turn of a young princess. St George slayed the dragon and saved the princess from her fate. St George is thought to have been a Roman soldier who died a martyr’s death in 303. Celebrations on St George’s Day became a highlight of England’s social calendar from the 15th century onwards.