It is the beginning of asparagus season, and in the Vale of Evesham this means a two-month long celebration, full of quirky events.
The British Asparagus Festival calendar begins on Tuesday 23rd April, celebrating St George’s Day, National Asparagus Day, and start of the English asparagus growing season, with the Great English Asparagus Run.
The first of the new season’s asparagus is given a blessing and a special ode, in a ceremony involving ‘Gus the Asparagus Man’ and ‘St George’. This quirky celebration involves the Lord Lieutenant of Worcestershire taking a giant round of asparagus across the country in a classic Morgan car. Why? Well, why not!
New for 2019, the launch day will also include an Asparabike Treasure Hunt, starting at the Fleece Inn at Bretforton, with maps, clues and promised treasure.
The next highlight in the festival calendar is the Asparabus Coach Tours, which give passengers the chance to learn more about the area and its links to the vegetable. These fun and informative asparagus-themed tours will run on Thursday 9th and Thursday 16th May and seats should be booked in advance.
May will also see the return of the Asparagus Family Colour Fun Run as participants dress up in green and join Gus the Asparagus Man for an alternative challenge. Expect asparagus green paint bombs to rain down on you as you manoeuvre this multi-terrain family friendly run, taking place on Sunday 19th May.
Next up on the festival calendar will be The Famous Fleece Asparagus Auctions, taking place on 26th May and 2nd June. The asparagus auctions will take place at the historic Fleece Inn, Bretforton. Bretforton Silver Band will entertain the crowds and the free event will raise money for the band’s instruments as well as give people the chance to purchase some of the season’s best produce.
Finally, the Vale of Evesham National Morris Weekend will take place from Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd June, to round off the events. Morris teams from all over the country will visit the area to perform for the weekend. Expect plenty of singing and dancing around the local towns, with costumed performances taking place at various venues.
The Vale of Evesham has a long history of asparagus growing and asparagus grown in the vale has been awarded European (EU) protected food name status. The asparagus growing season begins in April and lasts for just six weeks.
When: 23rd April – 23rd June 2019
Where: Vale of Evesham, Worcestershire
£: Ticket prices vary, depending on the event. Some events are free
More info: www.britishasparagusfestival.org