May Day celebration marks 10th anniversary this weekend (and this time it’s a Wild West theme…)
Highworth May Day celebrates 10th anniversary this weekend
By Daniel Angelini Adver_Daniel
COWBOYS and country music will help Highworth families celebrate the 10th anniversary of the town’s biggest free family fun day.
May Day festivities return this Saturday with a Wild West theme that will see hundreds of guests in fancy dress entertained by line-dancing, whip-cracking and knife-throwing,
Bells will ring out from the newly-renovated St Michael’s Church at 9.30am on Saturday before this year’s festivities begin in earnest at 10am after a welcome by vicar Geoff Sowden.
Voice Kids finalist Lilia Slattery will sing live and country-and-western musician David Griffin will perform with his bands Kerosene and The Stories in the Market Square.
Entertainment from Fandangos includes knife-throwing workshops, cowgirl Calamity Jane performing a hilarious routine full of singing and dancing, plus Pecan Pete showing off his skills and teach lucky audience members top tricks with his Wagon of Wild West Wonders.
Sandra Rendall helped organise the event as part of the May Day Committee for six years.
She said: “I used to help with the costumes and dressing up when I was part of the town’s amateur dramatics society HADS and hand out brochures so I’ve been with this May Day since the beginning, in a way.
“It started small and has just kept growing and growing. People are coming here from further afield like Wales and the Forest of Dean. The town’s community spirit is what makes the event work. We have a brilliant community here and everyone enjoys it, plus it’s all free.
“We had a fantastic turnout last year with lots of people enjoying our pirate theme in the beautiful sunshine.I loved our space-themed event in 2016 when Tim Peake went to the International Space Station, that was another highlight.
“We’ve got into a nice groove and know what we’re doing now so it’s not as stressful to organise.
“The event costs on average £6,000 per year to stage and without advertising from local businesses, Highworth Town Council funding, and donations from stalls, funders and residents we would be unable to proceed.
“Thank you all for your support over the years, and thanks to our entertainers and stallholders for helping us make the day special.”
The High Street will be packed with 55 stalls plus 10 from the town’s usual Saturday market.
The popular pub challenge will bring the event to a close as always at 3.45pm, with a bumper six boozers from around town competing against each other and risking their dignity over three rounds of an as-yet-unrevealed game cheered on by a supportive crowd.
As a sneak peek into Highworth’s future, the former Lloyds Bank site will be opened so that visitors can get a glimpse of plans for a visitor information centre and museum that the Highworth Community Partnership Group hopes to set up.