Dance parade returns to mark Shrewsbury Folk Festival

Shrewsbury’s sell out folk festival will turn the town centre into a riot of music and dance later this summer to mark the annual four day event in August.

Morris sides and dance teams from across the country who are visiting Shrewsbury for the festival will join with musicians to parade from the Castle to The Square on August 23 to celebrate the festival that takes place over the Bank Holiday weekend at the West Mid Showground.

They will congregate at the Castle from 12.30pm, with the parade beginning at 1.30pm from the Castle Grounds. The parade will dance up Castle Street to the top of Pride Hill and make its way down the pedestrianised street towards Shoplatch, where it will turn left into the High Street and immediate right in to the Square, arriving just after 2pm.

Shrewsbury Mayor Councillor Beverley Baker, a regular visitor to the festival, will lead the procession.

Teams taking part will be the Shropshire Bedlams and Martha Rhoden’s Tuppeny Dish, Shrewsbury Morris, the Ironmen and Severn Gilders, Chinewrde Morris, Severn Sisters Tribal Belly Dancers, Hammersmith Morris and Dawnswyr Delyn, a Welsh folk dance side.

It is the second year that the festival has hosted the parade through the town, which will lead to a road closure in Castle Street and High Street for a very short time.

Festival Director Alan Surtees said: ‘Our first parade through the town last year was a brilliant success with shoppers enjoying a magnificent spectacle, led by the town crier Martin Wood and the then Mayor Jon Tandy.

‘There was quite a lot of interaction with shoppers and shop staff and some Morris teams even found their way into one or two shops much to the surprise of the customers and staff. We will recreate the same carnival atmosphere this year and dancers and musicians will entertain the crowds once they reach the Square.’
 
The line up includes Bellowhead, Seth Lakeman, Lau, Blackie and The Rodeo Kings, The Dhol Foundation, Steve Knightley’s Wake the Union and The Full English.

As well as music and dance, there are dozens of workshops programmed, a children's festival, Refolkus - a dedicated youth programme for 12 to 25-year-olds, on-site camping, a craft fair and food village.

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Pete White Pete White

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