Let’s Imagine a Dragon!

‘Let’s Imagine a Dragon!’ was set up as a Creative Consultation in preparation for St George’s Festival 2024

December 2023

To discover what local residents want to see and take part in at St George’s Festival on 21 April 2024 in March, we delivered a creative consultation event called ‘Let’s Imagine a Dragon!’ Free and fun drop-in creative activities for all ages at March Library were designed to inspire play, creativity and imagination. We used the opportunity to showcase and celebrate this year’s festival, showing films featuring the parade dragon displayed in all its glory and including specially composed music by young people.

Residents were invited to interact with artists and designers including Ricki Outis, Carey Outis, Liz Falconbridge and Karin Forman at ten different stations and get hands-on with giant neon green chickens, willow crocodiles, giant skeletons, digital dragons, a poetry scavenger hunt, and more… 

Thomas Lawes, a Babylon Young Associate, showed how to draw and design your own dragon on an I-pad with Tag Tool, which could then join a ‘digital family of dragons’ projected onto the wall for all to see.

Several parents bringing their children to the library said they thought they would spend half an hour at the event, but ended up spending 3 hours, having fun themselves and watching their children dress up as mice and strawberries!

The day wasn’t just designed for children and families, it was a day which inspired everyone. Even those reluctant to take part couldn’t resist trying on Mandinga Arts’ magical puppet costumes and become someone else for a few minutes!

The young people from 20Twenty Productions came along and were hugely inspired by the creative activities, especially having fun dressing up as hyenas and zebras with Mandinga Arts. Charles, the puppet creator, was on hand to explain how the puppets were developed and made – from initial ideas, to mock ups, to the real deal!

People added their ideas for next year’s festival, as well as which activities they most enjoyed to maps created by artist Carey Outis and Beth Haysom from Babylon Arts. 

350 people came through the doors. It was wonderful to see everyone laughing, having fun and letting go in a safe, warm environment – on a very wet and windy day! 

The community voice is shaping our planning of creative activities for the festival. We are now pulling together ideas for pre-festival workshops and on-the-day activities based on feedback from local people such as let’s have:

  • Drawing and painting
  • Making dragons on the Ipad
  • Shadow puppets
  • Animated dragon drawings
  • Puppetry workshop with stuff to try on and do
  • Wildlife and dragon-inspired costumes
  • Dragon cake making
  • Storytelling
  • A choir
  • Escape room
  • Dragon egg rolling
  • Willow sculptures

‘Imagine a Dragon’ has already inspired the local secondary school to ask Mandinga Arts to put together workshops for them to create dragon heads for the parade next April.

“It was fun and amazing” – participant

“The day went brilliantly! There was so much laughter! Families seemed really engaged, even the ones that were a bit reluctant because of the word poetry’’ – Charley Genever, Poet

Many thanks to Fenland District Council and March Library for helping and hosting, and to our other partners on the St George’s Festival committee.


Peggy Mends, Creative Producer, Fenland