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English_Festival_200413_SK

English_Festival_200413_SK

English_Festival_200413_SK

English_Festival_200413_SK

All images © Simon Kelsey

All images © Simon Kelsey

A record number of visitors took advantage of the sunshine last weekend and flocked to The English Festival for a good old fashioned British day out.

The free event is held each year at Riverside Country Park, Gillingham on the closest Saturday to St George’s Day to celebrate all things quintessentially and quirkily English.

Many thousands of families enjoyed building sandcastles at a specially created seaside, taking part in a Mat Hatter’s Tea Party and meeting St George and his dragon. The park was divided into four themed zones, the Seaside, the Village Square, the English Countryside and Medieval Fun.

Activities included bee keeping, a falconry display, games, face painting and donkey rides. An assortment of colourful characters mingled with the crowds, including bird spotters, duelling lollipop ladies, and of course St George and his pet dragon.
Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Community Services Cllr Howard Doe said: “The festival was a great success. Saturday’s weather was the nicest of the year so far, and more than 14,000 people turned out for the free event. This festival really has captured people’s imaginations and has grown in popularity each year.

“Families were kept entertained by fair ground rides, donkey rides and duelling lollipop ladies, to name just a few, and enjoyed the mouthwatering food and drink on offer from the numerous stalls available on the day.

Celebrations to mark the Chinese New Year will be held across two weekends, as Medway welcomes in the Year of the Snake.
There will be a preview event on Saturday, 9 February, with colourful entertainment in the High Street (near Argos) and the Pentagon Shopping Centre from 11.30am to 2.30pm, featuring The Lion Team from Foshan, The Dance Alley Dancers, The ShiKon Martial Arts Team, Cantonese Opera Performers from Hong Kong, a guest performer from China and The God of Fortune. There will also be a small street market, children’s ride and food stalls in the High Street area.
The celebrations continue on Sunday, 17 February with the Medway Chinese New Year Parade, one of the largest in the UK. More

Medway will celebrate the Chinese New Year with music, dancing and food this weekend, to welcome in the Year of the Dragon. More

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