THOUSANDS of townspeople and visitors flocked into Droitwich over the weekend to enjoy the annual St Richard’s Festival, with everything from classic cars and an Italian market to art activities for youngsters and a return to the traditional well dressing.
Festival events ran throughout the Bank Holiday weekend from 5.30pm on Friday evening, through to 5pm on Monday, with real ale tents, medieval displays, canal boat trips and the unveiling of the community mural in Netherwich canal basin which had been painted by volunteers from the town.
Janet Yates, festival organiser, said: “It went extremely well we were very pleased with it. On Saturday it was absolutely heaving. Obviously the nice weather brought people out, but they’ve got other events they could go to so it was fantastic to see so many in town. This event really has gone from strength to strength over the past two years it’s transformed. We’re extremely pleased with how it went. It was just a constant flow of people, and it was nice that so many people were staying on into the evening. It should have finished at four, but it was gone five before stall holders were able to start packing up because of the crowds.”
There were plenty of opportunities to take a look into the past with vintage and classic cars lining the streets of Droitwich, while the Plantagenets Medieval Society staged dancing and armour demonstrations in Vines Park, medieval monks from the Probus 87 club paraded through the streets to officially bless the Upwich Pit, and members of the Walmington on Sea home guard performed scenes form an upcoming production of Dad’s Army to be performed at the Norbury Theatre.
Keith Garvey from Probus 87 organised the re-enactment of the well blessing.
He said: “Everybody thought it was a terrific idea that we should have done years ago. We thought we’d try and put St Richard back in the centre of St Richard’s Day. It went very well, and we had a good crowd. We were singing hymns down the high street, and when we stopped everyone was completely quiet, which was wonderful.
“I enjoyed it, and everybody involved enjoyed it. They all said we should do it again next year, even bigger and better.”
Foodies got the chance to indulge with a visit from the Italian market in Victoria Square, and the town was alive with street performers, storytelling and singing workshops for children, live music, and an animal zone.
Town businesses benefitted from the increase in footfall as well.
Edith Berry, landlady of the Gardener’s Arms said: “It was very busy, business was very good. It felt like a complete success.”
The Droitwich festival calendar will continue through the summer with the Food and Drink Festival next month.