Ilfracombe May Day celebrations

THE 10th anniversary of the Jack-in-the-Green celebrations comes to Ilfracombe this May Day weekend and - it is hoped - the first true promise of summer. To mark a decade in the town, the traditional May event will be spread over two days this year, begi

THE 10th anniversary of the Jack-in-the-Green celebrations comes to Ilfracombe this May Day weekend and - it is hoped - the first true promise of summer.To mark a decade in the town, the traditional May event will be spread over two days this year, beginning on the Sunday with Morris Dance displays on the seafront.In the evening there will be a song and music session at the Bunch of Grapes public house in the High Street.The main event and colourful procession will take place on Monday as normal, setting off from the Wilder Road car park and making its way along the High Street to the sea front.The procession is always a riot of greenclad characters, with town crier Roy Goodwin leading the way, followed by the leafy Jack - representing the Spirit of Summer - plus his "Merry Men," the May Queen and street drummers Humdrumconundrum.Morris dancers, country dancers and youngsters from the town's infant and junior schools will join them.Arriving at the seafront around noon, the children will dance the maypole, followed by Morris dancing and the stripping of "Jack's" greenery to symbolise the release of summer. After lunch there will be more displays of dancing before the procession makes its way to the pier.Throughout the weekend there will be more than 30 real ales and a whole skin full of live music as the popular May Landmark Beer Festival returns.Kicking off on the Friday night with Zamba, the bands flow thick and fast on Saturday with Hayley Daviss, Soulsmith, PickPockets & SkyRockets and Two Spot Gobi entertaining throughout the day.On the Sunday The Landmark Bands Day returns with a chance to shine offered to local up-and-coming. This is an opportunity for new bands to play a 40-minute set to a welcoming crowd and is a great showcase. More music in the evening with Lazy.On Bank Holiday Monday Fiddlebix, Cole Stacey and The Dambuskers will all be playing.


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