Marking the end of spring at the Green Man Festival

HUNDREDS of dancers filled the streets of Bradford on Avon over the weekend as the town hosted its second Green Man festival to mark the end of spring and the coming of summer.

The event which raises money for Dorothy House saw groups of dancers performing in six different locations around the town.

Most of the performances were Morris themed but other types of dance were also shown, and all performers were from within 30 miles of Bradford on Avon.

Live music was played by local bands and musicians in eight pubs as the whole town came together to celebrate the event.

A fun fair was also held in Westbury Gardens as well as community stalls put on by local business and organisations.

A ten foot tall man covered in ivy known as Jack in the Green, a tradition from the 17th century which marks the end of spring, paraded through the town to mark the end of the festival.

Crowds who were encouraged to come along wearing green were able to pull off a stem of ivy from the Jack and the Green, until all the ivy was gone. This symbolises his death along with the death of spring and the start of summer.

Alfie Windsor and his wife Jan of French Grass in Bradford on Avon organised the entire event.

Mr Windsor said: “The whole day went extremely well and we had well over 300 dancers performing in the town.

“Spectators gathered in their hundreds for the parade at the end and everyone was just fascinated by the Jack in the Green.

“Everyone took a piece of ivy off the frame and took it home with them to mark the end of spring and to guarantee us a good summer.

“We had 24 dance groups, that’s at least 190 dancers and 70 musicians, and we had two mummers’ plays.

“This was our second event, our first festival was in 2017.

“We are intending for it to be an annual event, but last year the royal wedding took over so we were unable to do it.

“We are planning something even bigger and better for next year’s Green Man festival, so please put Saturday, May 16 2020 in your diaries.”

This is Wiltshire

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