Tickets are now on sale and the website is live for an unmissable Stamford Georgian Festival in September as the highlight in a very special year for England’s finest stone town.
2017 marks the 50th anniversary of Stamford’s award as the UK’s first conservation town, recognising its unspoilt Georgian street scenes and ancient architecture.
This year’s Georgian Festival (21-24 September) has more events then ever over a packed three-day programme, with a major focus on activities on the riverside Meadows on Saturday and Sunday.
A special performance area will host galloping acrobats, celebrating the birth of circus in the Georgian period, militiamen drills and a skirmish with the enemy, a Punch and Judy Show and a Regency dance demo. Military encampments and period stallholders complete the picture.
Stamford’s ancient streets will again buzz with evocative Georgian costumed figures, themed markets and street entertainment and Saturday evening sees a glittering illuminati event in Red Lion Square with the ancient Stamford Bull Run re-enacted in street theatre.
Celebrated historian and TV presenter Dan Cruickshank makes a welcome return to launch the festival on Thursday (21 September), and there is a high profile finale on Sunday with ‘An Evening with Austen’.
The Arts Centre ballroom event features top actors Caroline Langrishe (Lovejoy and Judge John Deed) and Adrian Lukis (George Wickham in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice). They will be playing some of Austen’s most memorable characters and helping to conclude the festival’s colourful programme of talks, music, drama and sheer fun.
It’s the third time that South Kesteven District Council has organised and funded the biennial festival as a celebration of the town’s Georgian heritage and September sees the return of popular highlights from 2015.
Back by public demand is the sell-out Georgian Costume Ball and historic venues such as the Town Hall will once again open their doors. Horses and a vintage carriage are back to deliver unforgettable rides through the town’s ancient streets and into Burghley Park.
The last festival in 2015 was a big success, attracting huge crowds, an estimated £1m economic benefit for local businesses and accommodation providers, a boost to civic pride and an ever higher profile for Stamford as England’s finest stone town.