The town’s first Georgian Festival kicked off this evening (Friday) with a launch event at Stamford Arts Centre.
Thousands of people are expected to visit Stamford for the event which has been organised by South Kesteven District Council.
The festival celebrates the town’s rich heritage between 1714 and 1830 and includes talks, shows, concerts and activities including the re-enactment of the centuries-old tradition of the Bull Run.
Speaking before the launch, Visit England chief executive James Berresford said: “Our role at tourist information is to showcase the special, the unique and the different and Stamford is often quoted as the finest stone town in England.
“The Georgian Festival is a great opportunity to show off one of our finest places in a new light.
“This really gives the town an opportunity to stand head and shoulders above other destinations.
“I think the programme of events is really strong. It has a really good balance from those who want look at it with an academic interest to those who want some fun.
“The unifying factor is it is all about Stamford. From the weird and wonderful like bull running to guided costume walks and tours and carriage rides. There is generally something for everyone.
“I think it is probably one of the most rounded festivals I have seen this year.”
Mr Berresford said tourism was worth about £130 million to South Kesteven’s economy but it was a competitive world and events like this were great at bringing a new audience to destinations.
“Even for a great destination like Stamford there is no room for complacency in the world of tourism.
“I think any destination such as this needs to take advantage of tourism. It is one of the few growing industries in the UK.”
“I know there is an interest in continuing this into the future and I know we will do everything we can to make sure that happens.”
South Kesteven District Council chairman David Nalson said: “I want people to think of the district council as more than people who send through a demand for council tax.
“Let’s hope the festival promotes the town and brings in lots of people to Stamford.”
Coun Nalson, who is a Stamford born and bred, said he was glad the first running of the festival was taking place in his first year as chairman of the council.
Stamford mayor Brian Sumner said: “I wish I could be in three places at once this weekend because there are so many things going on. I think it is great.”
Coun Sumner said he thought the event would be beneficial for the young people of the town who may not know Stamford’s rich history.
He believes the festival will make people appreciate living in the town even more.
Mr Berresford and other dignitaries spoke at the launch event at the arts centre.
The Bull Run takes place tomorrow when a giant model bull will be paraded through town and on to The Meadows to be set alight. The Bull Run was started in the 13th century by William de Warenne, the fifth Earl of Surrey, who gave the land now known as The Meadows to butchers in the town. The only condition was that they provided a bull on November 13 every year to run in to the town and then slaughter on The Meadows.
For all the information about the Georgian Festival visit our What’s On section.