Thousands of visitors are expected in Stamford this weekend as the town turns the clock back to Georgian times with a packed festival programme.
Many will be drawn by the promise of an unforgettable Saturday night Illuminati event, which is set to transform the town as never before.
Internationally recognised visual artists Metro Boulot Dodo have master-minded a visual odyssey through the streets, culminating in a spectacular light projection onto All Saints’ Church, telling the centuries-old story of the Stamford Bull Run.
It’s the climax of a beautiful and extraordinary evening of lights, music and spectacle commemorating Stamford’s infamous Bull Run, which took places for 700 years until the 1830s.
Coun Matthew Lee, the leader of organiser South Kesteven District Council, is extending a warm welcome to festival goers.
“A number of events have already sold out but tickets are still available right across the programme and a huge amount of entertainment is free,” he said.
The Illuminati starts from outside the Arts Centre in St Mary’s Street from 7pm, and will see St Mary’s and St George’s churchyards animated and illuminated with lights, decorations and dancers.
From 7.15pm, St George’s Square stages pre-procession entertainment, including juggling and fire-breathing with ‘The Fairly Famous Family’.
The Bull Run procession leaves the square shortly after 7.30pm and makes its way to the finale and light projection in Red Lion Square.
Winners of the Total Theatre Best Newcomer award at the Edinburgh Festival, Metro Boulot Dodo will bring all their experience of theatre, visual and street arts, heritage interpretation and large scale performance to deliver a real treat. Fireworks will ensure an explosive conclusion at around 8.15pm.
TV historian Dan Cruickshank kicked off the festival with a talk to a packed Endowed School Hall audience yesterday evening.
Today the emphasis is on children’s and family entertainment thanks to The Great Georgian Science Show with an afternoon schools matinee and an evening family show.
n Visit www.stamfordgeorgianfestival.co.uk or call the Arts Centre Box Office on 01780 763203 for tickets.
Road closures swing into place over the weekend to allow the festival’s Georgian markets and Saturday street entertainment to proceed safely.
Traders and residents have been circulated with information on times and details of traffic restrictions, operating from 4am on Saturday (September 23) to 11pm on Sunday (September 24). Extra road closures swing into play for the Illuminati event on Saturday evening on St John’s Street and All Saints’ Place from the junction of Red Lion Square to Barn Hill.
Extra free parking is being provided at Cummins on Barnack Road, Malcolm Sargent School on Empingham Road and on land opposite the Burghley Bottle Lodges on London Road.