I’m English. I was born in Great Yarmouth *cough*cough* years ago, I’m English and I’m part of this great island that is Great Britain. I’m proud of that fact but despite my allegiance to my home country I’ve never properly celebrated England’s patron Saint day, St George’s day. The Irish have their day of national pride, St Patrick’s day, which is celebrated internationally and I feel sometimes St George’s day is overlooked. When I caught wind that a Fenland market town close by was hosting a festival to mark the occasion I grabbed my camera and went down to have a look.
March high street was closed for the day and the traffic was replaced with plenty of stalls and the hustle and bustle of festival goers from early on in the morning. The festival kicked off with a short, quarter mile parade from the March Fountain at the top of the high street to the market place where the festivities were formally opened by the March town Mayor, Kim French. The parade was packed full of colour and character with the Mayor and the drums and bugles of the 1220 Air Cadet Squadron leading the way who were closely followed by a scooter gang. Amongst the other paraders were a rather awesome looking VW camper, the Bourne Borderers, representatives of the March museum riding vintage bicycles, the ferocious dragon and of course St George himself. Bringing up the rear of the parade with their unique sound of New Orleans jazz were the East Angles Brass Band; a super funky and fantastically groovy way to end the parade!
It seemed the entirety of March was out to celebrate St George or perhaps they were out to enjoy one of the hottest days of the year so far. The sun was out in force all day with highs of 22°C which made it a joy to be outside, the public nudity from some of the men I could have done without!
There were two live music stages, one in the market place and the other just outside Georges. I stuck to the stage by Georges for most of the day in part due to the music and in part due to the aroma from the hog roast Georges had laid on. The Georges stage featured a set from The Expletives (punk rock covers) and a couple of sets each from East Angles Brass Band (New Orleans inspired brass band) and Scooted & Booted (ska covers). The Expletives went down a treat with the locals who were rocking and singing along, encouraged by the front man who knew how to fire up a crowd. The front man certainly looked the part with his John Lydon style bleached hair spikes. The band were tight, full of energy and nailed the genre perfectly.
As the last distorted chord and cymbal clash rang out from the stage the East Angles Brass Band came into life up behind me. They’d set up in the middle of the road outside Georges and immediately started drawing a crowd around them as they got into the swing of things with their funky, brassy soul. Their set featured some originals penned by the trumpeter in the band and some pop/rock covers that had been given an East Angles Brass Band. The covers included, I Wish (Stevie Wonder), I Believe in a Thing Called Love (The Darkness) and Seven Nation Army (The White Stripes). Check them out on Facebook to find out more and listen to some videos of them in action. East Angles Brass Band
Unfortunately I am just one woman and so I couldn’t see or capture everything this excellent event had to offer but here’s a selection of my favourite things I saw.