The Winter Droving is an annual cultural event in Cumbria, celebrating the changing of the seasons with music, masked fire processions and quirky entertainment.
This year’s Winter Droving will take place on Friday 25th and Saturday 26th October. With a quintessentially British eccentricity at its heart – harking back to the days of a wild land and perhaps wild people – the Winter Droving event is programmed to take place on the old festival of Samhain, marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of the ‘darker half’ of the year.
This year’s event will start at Ullswater on the Friday evening and continue in Penrith on the Saturday. It will once again feature the Drovers Cup, street entertainment, live music, a food and craft market, a fire and light procession, and a fancy dress dog competition.
Catalonian act Kamchatka – described as ‘near perfect’ street theatre – will be performing at both the Ullswater and Winter Droving events with their contemporary show. The evening finales will feature K.O.G and the Zongo Brigade, and the return of the popular Baghdaddies.
The entertainment will begin on Friday evening with the Ullswater Droving event. This year’s Ullswater Droving will be led by favourites, The Baghdaddies, who will depart the Ullswater Steamer at Pooley Bridge jetty at 6pm, and greet the awaiting torch bearers to parade through the village. Expect an exuberant and rampant brand of world music with a cocktail of Balkan melodies, ska, and latin grooves.
Then, on Saturday, The Winter Droving event in Penrith will welcome more than 100 street traders selling their wares including a wide range of world foods, vegan and vegetarian cuisine, giftware, local artists’ works; and a special Crafty Vintage area with specially selected traders selling items of classic vintage, collectables, retro wares, quirky handmade items, and fine foods.
The Winter Droving will be headlined by K.O.G & the Zongo Brigade, who have been lighting up the festival circuit throughout Europe. Their unique blend of infectious, high-energy West African grooves promises to have Great Dockray bouncing as they lead the procession through to their finale set, bringing to a close the weekend of events.
Internationally renowned acts including Gandini Juggling will also be taking to the stage on Saturday. Gandini Juggling’s contemporary circus shows, blend physical theatre, contemporary dance, technical circus and juggling skill.
In the afternoon, one of the quirky highlights of the event will take place, as The Angel Lane Chippie Drovers Cup kicks off. Local teams will compete in daft traditional events such as Hay Bale Racing, the Pint Pass, Egg Throwing, Tug-o-War and Cumberland Sausage Eating.
The ever popular fire and lantern procession will once again work it’s way through Penrith Town Centre. Last year more than 8,000 masked people lined the town streets to welcome the Drovers parade through town.
Visitors are encouraged to join in by wearing a mask (there will be mask police on the roam, complete with fines and punishments) and a lucky few can sign up to be Drovers and carry fire torches for a unique experience of being in amongst the action.
When: 25th & 26th October 2019
Where: Pooley Bridge and Penrith Town Centre, Cumbria
More info: www.edenarts.co.uk/projects/winter-droving