Did you know, it’s the beginning of asparagus season in the UK? And in the Vale of Evesham, this means it’s the start of a two-month long celebration with a host of quirky characters and unusual events. The busy calendar of British Asparagus Festival events begins on Saturday 23rd April, which is National Asparagus Day.
Events at the British Asparagus Festival 2022
As it’s also St George’s Day, the festival launch will feature a visit from both Gus the asparagus man and St George. They’ll be popping up at The Fleece Inn at Bretforton near Evesham. From 11am, there’ll be free entertainment including Morris dancing and live music from the Lockdown Layabouts.
Then, next month there’ll be an Asparagus Eating Competition at Evesham’s Food Festival on Saturday 7th May. Based on Crown Meadow, there’ll be plenty of opportunity to enjoy this veggie delicacy, known locally as gras. Pick up a fresh bunch of asparagus, sample culinary treats or head over to the Moongazing Hare Bar for your chance to be crowned the King or Queen of Asparagus!
Later on in the month, on Sunday 29th May, is one of the growing season’s more traditional events. The Asparagus Auction returns to the courtyard of The Fleece Inn where you can enjoy the Bretforton Silver Band and bid for season’s best asparagus. All of this local produce is donated by growers and auctioned off to raise money for the band’s instruments. And this year, St Leonard’s Church will host a second auction on Sunday 5th June.
Finally, the Vale of Evesham National Morris Weekend will take place from Friday 10th to Sunday 12th June. Although this is a celebration of traditional dance performances, it too honours the area’s produce with an Asparaduck Race on the Sunday.
Asparagus and the Vale of Evesham
The Vale of Evesham has a long history of asparagus growing, although the season lasts for just six weeks each year. Just like Jersey Royals and Champagne, Vale of Evesham’s asparagus has EU protected status. The local area’s sandy soils and micro-climate create the perfect growing conditions for this tasty crop.
During April and May, you can pick up fresh gras from the Fleece Inn and sample it on their menu. Or pop into Bretforton Community Shop for a bunch. You’ll also find it on sale around the Evesham area, in shops and at local events.
Discover more unusual UK festivals over here!
When: 23rd April – 21st June 2022
Where: Vale of Evesham, Worcestershire
£: Many events are free
More info: britishasparagusfestival.co.uk