20/04/2011 - Permalink

Searching for Shropshire’s carnival queens and princesses

Related topics: Community / Leisure, culture and heritage

Shropshire’s carnival queens and princesses are being invited to be guests of honour at this year’s Shrewsbury Carnival parade on Saturday 18 June 2011.

Shrewsbury Carnival is central to the Shropshire Olympian Festival weekend (17 – 19 June 2011), when people from all over the county will come together to celebrate our Olympian heritage and “Shropshireness”.  We are turning the clocks back 150 years and imagining the Olympian pageant that paraded through the town accompanied by Dr William Penny Brookes in 1864.

1864 was a momentous year for Shropshire, when our Victorian forebears had the support of the great and the good from all over England, even Prime Minister Palmerston, and Shropshire’s very own Olympian Festival was taken up by major cities as it moved inexorably towards the Olympic Games we recognise today.

In honour of the restaging of this historic Olympian Festival, Shrewsbury Carnival organisers would love to hear from current queens and princesses from Shropshire’s market towns and villages to accompany not only Dr Brookes, but Queen Victoria, both of whom will be presiding over the three-day Shropshire Olympian Festival.

Commenting on Shrewsbury Carnival’s restaging of this historic Olympian parade, Councillor Steve Charmley, Shropshire Council cabinet member for culture and leisure, said:

“The carnival takes the theme of Victorian fun and games, which gives people taking part plenty of licence to be creative and provide an entertaining and enlightening experience for thousands of people lining the streets of Shrewsbury.”

The event is set to be the biggest carnival ever, with a huge amount of entertainment and activities for all the family to enjoy.  There will be a Victorian Steam Fair, with Victorian fun and games throughout the day and hundreds of costumed characters and historic entertainments, as well as dog agility, Tywyn Silver Band, Wakeman Jazz Band and School Chamber Orchestra, traditional and Morris dancing – to name but a few.

The carnival parade starts at 2pm with medal presentation made on its return at 4pm by the Mayor of Shrewsbury.  At 7.30pm teams from 12 different towns and villages will come together for the Shropshire Team Challenge, where they will compete in a range of rustic sports, including tossing the bale, catching the pig, putting the shot, the eight-legged race and jingling.  There will be magical illuminations in The Quarry, with promenade performances by Alice In Wonderland characters in the Dingle and music from the bandstand from 9.30pm to 11pm.

There is still time to book a float, or a stall, with all income and donations raised by Shrewsbury Carnival going to charity.  If you would like to get involved please contact Julia on 07814 113156 or email getinvolved@shrewsburycarnival.co.uk

Information about the Shropshire Olympian Festival can be found at www.shropshire1864.org.uk