THOUSANDS of people descended on Tamworth Castle Grounds on Saturday April 23 for a record-breaking St George’s Day extravaganza.
The 2016 event exceeded previous attendance figures with estimated crowds of 13,000 people enjoying a day of medieval-themed fun and festivities.
The St George’s Day spectacular is one of the main highlights of the Tamworth events calendar and the Borough Council’s Arts & Events team went all out to make this year’s festival even bigger and better, offering more entertainment, attractions and activities for people of all ages to enjoy. The hard work seems to have paid off as the attendance figure of 13,000 is way above last year’s crowds of 8,000.
As well as all the usual favourites including knights, skirmishes, living history camp, archery, walkabout characters and medieval workshops, the 2016 festival included some crowd-pleasing new features such as a dedicated Children’s Zone, community stalls and a realistic-looking six-foot animatronic dragon and its babies.
Another highlight was again the Grand Medieval Joust, with thousands of people lining the flower beds around the Lower Lawn and even gathering on the other side of the river to watch as knights on horseback came to do battle in the main arena. The Grand Medieval Joust was performed twice during the day, alongside various other battles and skirmishes.
The event also saw the official unveiling of six hand-carved flagstones, depicting a timeline of events from Tamworth’s Saxon history, which have been installed along the Ladybridge as part of £500,000 worth of improvements to the town centre gateway.
This was followed by a St George’s Day Parade of more than 100 Tamworth scouts who marched along Holloway and through the town centre before renewing their promise at the Pavilion Tea Rooms café in the Castle Grounds.
Visitors took to social media throughout the day and afterwards with high praise for the event. Dozens of people commented, including Eddie Dix, who said: “Really enjoyed this free event, well done Tamworth Borough Council.”
Marion Cox said: “Excellent turnout for an excellent event. Well done to all concerned.”
Gemma Rowlowe said: “Great day, lovely atmosphere. Thank you!”
This was echoed by Wendy Sturch who said: “What a fantastic turnout Tamworth, you should feel proud.”
Shani Barwick added: “My girls thoroughly enjoyed today. The kids’ zone was fantastic value, loads to do for them both. Thank you to all involved who organise such a fantastic family day.”
Andrew Barratt, Tamworth Borough Council’s Corporate Director for Growth, Assets & Environment, said: “This year the Arts & Events team aimed to go all out and make the already popular St George’s Day festival even bigger and better – and they certainly didn’t disappoint. New features such as the dedicated Children’s Zone and the animatronic dragon were very well received.
“The record-breaking attendance figure is fantastic news for the town, both in terms of providing a great day out for so many families and the resulting boost to the town centre economy and we look forward to seeing what next year will bring.”