Thousands of people lined the streets of Stamford today (Saturday) to watch a Bull Run as part of the town’s first Georgian Festival.
There were cheers and applause as the huge bull set off from Stamford Arts Centre at about 3.30pm. Decorated with paper plates designed by primary school children, the bull was accompanied by spectacular puppet costumes of men on horseback and lions, as well as the Army’s Coldstream guards.
The run made its way from the arts centre, up Maiden Lane and along the High Street, which was filled with thousands of spectators.
It wound its way slowly through Red Lion Square and into Sheep Market, often stopping for impromptu dances.
Finally, the parade finished on The Meadows, where after a performance by Kesteven Morris, the bull was set alight.
The Bull Run, designed to replicate a tradition that ran for 700 years, was one of the highlights in today’s festival programme. Broad Street was packed with people browsing the craft market, while there were also street performers, including stilt walkers and jugglers. Many of the traders had got into the spirit of the event by donning traditional Georgian costumes.
There were also tours of Stamford, traditional horse and carriage rides and a Horrible Histories performance at Stamford Corn Exchange, which was sold out. More than 1,000 people enjoyed tours of Stamford Town Hall.
Shoestring Theatre Company put on A Comedy of Folly in the grounds of Brownes Hospital, which was sold out.
A spokesman for South Kesteven District Council, which organised the festival, said the response had been overwhelming.
He said: “The weather has been absolutely fantastic. The programme is a strong one but with the weather being so fantastic, I think that has helped.
“There’s been interest not only from Stamford but from across the region and everyone seems to be having a great time.”
He paid tribute to carnival specialists Shademakers, who created the costumes worn by New College Stamford students during the bull run.
He added: “Everyone has been so enthusiastic about the Bull Run. It really has been great and the bull looks amazing.”
Today’s programme of events follows a launch yesterday (Friday) attended by the chief executive of Visit England James Berresford and about 120 people.
There were also talks led by Dan Cruickshank and Annie Gray, which also attracted big crowds.
Events tomorrow (Sunday) includes cricket on the Meadows and a Georgian Tea Dance at Stamford Arts Centre.