Town to come alive with morris festival

HUNDREDS of dancers are preparing to pull out all the bells and whistles for the very first Bradford on Avon Day of Morris Dance.

The event, which will be taking place on May 20 from 10.30am-5pm, will be welcoming up to 30 Morris dancing teams at the Tithe Barn in Pound Lane and other venues across the town, including up to 300 dancers and 80 musicians.

Alfie and Jan Windsor, organisers of the day, came up with the idea whilst having a drink at a local pub, deciding that Morris dancing was an old English tradition which should be celebrated.

Mr Windsor, 67, said: “We were having a drink and we thought why not have Morris dancers outside of the pub and then musicians inside, it just grew from there. This will be a first for Bradford on Avon because I think it is the very first time an event like this has happened of this scope in the town. As well as being a fun day for the town, it will be raising money for Dorothy House, so it is also for a good cause.”

A variety of different Morris teams will be performing traditional Welsh dances, Appalachian clog dances and Scottish country dances accompanied by English, Irish and French music sessions, including live performances in different pubs in Bradford.

“We have teams coming from across the county as well as one from Derbyshire and another team from out of Wiltshire. Rowde School will also be taking part, they are very enthusiastic about it. It is very exciting and I believe it will be a popular event for the town. We will have a welcome tent on Victory Field by Tithe Barn so anyone who wants to pop down on the day can meet Jan and I,” added Mr Windsor.

As well as music and dancing, there will be an artisan market, bars and fast food stalls on Victory Field with 38 stalls already booked.

“There is still time for people to sign up for the dancing, we are on target for the amount of people but there is still room for more people to join. People who are interested should visit the website and sign up,” Mr Windsor said.

The day will culminate in a mass parade of dancers and musicians at 4pm at the Tithe Barn followed by a mass dance.

Anyone who may be interested in signing their side up or even taking part in the Morris dancing can do so by visiting www.boamorrisday.org

This is Wiltshire

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