All the old favourites will be there like bouncy castles, facepainting, balloon modelling, and storytelling. People who have been to St George's Park Family Fun Days before will know we often had a historical theme in events over the past few years, previously we had the Svartland group re-enacting scenes from the Viking era. This year we concentrate more closely on the local area the ancient Kingdom of Mercia with demonstrations from the Thegns of Mercia, an Anglo-Saxon living history group. The Thegns (pronounced 'Thanes') will provide glimpses into life in Mercia more than a thousand years ago and dramatise the lives of past inhabitants of this area who founded England and gave it its name and its language. It seems fitting to us that St George the patron saint of England who has given his name to our park should host Anglo-Saxons who literally gave him a country to become the patron saint of. Here are some pictures of the Thegns.
Mummer plays can be traced back to the Middle Ages, but they became very popular forms of street theatre and public entertainment during the mid-18th century.
Mumming became associated with saints days - so what could be more fitting than to have St George's Day 23rd of April celebrated in St George's Park in this way during the following weekend?
St George and the Dragon will be performed at intervals between 1pm and 3pm...
Besides St George's Day the 23rd of April is also World Book Night. April 23rd is a symbolic date for world literature. It is both the birth and death day of Shakespeare, as well as the death day of Cervantes, the great Spanish novelist who wrote the famous Don Quixote.
It is in their honour the United Nations have made April 23rd the international day of the book and that is why it was chosen as the date to celebrate World Book Night.
April 23rd also marks the city of Barcelona's celebration of St George's Day. St George is the patron saint of Catalonia (in northern Spain) as well as England and traditionally, to celebrate this day, Spanish gentlemen gave their ladies roses and the ladies returned the favour with a book. So books play a big part in celebrating St George's Day worldwide and to honour those traditions this year we have the County Council Library Bus in the park with story telling and signing new members up to the library as well as giving them and existing library members a chance to borrow books, from a large collection especially selected for young people. This year the library bus joins another popular returning visitor from the Arts Festival in the the park last year, Museum on the Move (MoM). This year's MoM exhibition is called 'Made Here' and is a celebration of things Worcestershire and neighbouring Warwickshire have produced. This exhibition is particularly appropriate for St George's Park because it was by making some of the best carpets in the world that the people of Kidderminster were given our park in the first place. So, we have come a full circle from the Thegns the founders of the country called England, its patron saint St George and its famous writers like William Shakespeare and traditions like the Mummer Plays to the history of the region and the many things produced here over the years, not least of all Kidderminster carpets. St George's Park was given to the people of the town in 1927 in recognition of their skills in the carpet weaving industries. We will be remembering a thousand years of local history amongst all the fun things to do this year. But we will not only be looking back into the past, but also forward into the future with stalls and demonstrations by Friends of the Earth, the Big Local, Kidderminster Transition Town and many more things to take away from a great half day in St George's Park. Come and enjoy the day, check out the stalls and displays.
There will be music provided by the Severn and Teme Valley Scout Band and sweet soul music from Rattlesnake Jake so we have lined up a great day of fun, entertainment, discovery and magic in the Horsefair for all the family...definitely not to be missed!
We look forward to seeing you on Saturday 26th April between 12.00 noon and 4.00 pm to celebrate this the 5th St George's Family Fun Day in the park.