St George’s Festival
More than 5,000 people from the local community joined the St George’s Festival in March, Fenland on Sunday 23 April 2023.
23 April 2023
More than 5,000 people from the local community joined the St George’s Festival in March, Fenland on Sunday 23 April 2023. MarketPlace partnered with Fenland District Council, 20Twenty productions, March Library and Cambridgeshire Skills to organise the event, including a range of activities and performances staged by local artists and groups.
In the month-long run up, MarketPlace delivered creative projects and workshops for adults and young people within the community. Artist Ricki Outis visited 9 local groups including Scouts, Cubs and Beavers, Hereward Community Rail Partnership, Macmillan Fundraising Committee, the Recovery Café and Edgy Women, to run screen printing workshops where over 500 participants created scales to decorate the parade dragon. Many participants had never imagined they might be able to take part in this type of creative experience. “I have never seen the Cubs so engaged in an art activity’ said Scout Leader, Gary Barnett.
Two walking poetry workshops were organised with contemporary poet Charley Genever for members of the public. On the day she performed two poems at the start and end of the festival.
Artist Cary Outis went around the town and drew his original dragon drawings on the windows of local shops, teasing the community into what was happening on St George’s Day. On the day, festival visitors drew their own dragons on the pavements while watching Cary draw a large dragon onto the window of the library.
Designed and created by the communities of Wisbech, Chatteris & March, the parade dragon became a magical moment of community creation and interaction, with the scales created in the workshops adorning the dragons’ bodies. The other MarketPlace activities throughout the day for families included storytelling with The Yarnsmith of Norwich, inspired by the dragon and medieval themes of the day, tote bag colouring, and a colouring competition.
“I’ve come to this event every year and this is the best it’s ever been”
A very successful St George’s Day Festival, showing how co-creation and co-operation with local organisations and community groups can work.