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Even Worcester's racecourse is historically significant
AFTER a week full of events across the city, it’s safe to say the Worcester Festival is in full swing.
With a 17-day programme packed with about 350 events, the festival has already seen thousands enjoying attractions across the Faithful City.
On Monday, one of the more unusual activities takes place, with a special day at the races at Pitchcroft offering a family day out, including Percy the Peacock, free face painting and a full race card.
We caught up with the artistic director of the Worcester Festival, Ben Humphrey, to find out more about what it takes to make the festival tick.
The Worcester Festival – how did this originate?
It was born out of the Worcester Three Choirs Festival when it served as its fringe. With the success of the fringe came a real appetite in the city to incorporate more annual events into Worcester’s programme.
What’s the festival all about?
The festival really is a celebration of life in Worcester. Worcester is such a fantastic place to live and work and we have a lot to celebrate regarding our culture and heritage. The festival seeks to promote as much about the city and the surrounding areas as possible.
Does it have historical significance?
Well, having grown out of the world’s oldest music festival (the Three Choirs Festival), the Worcester Festival is very much linked with the city’s heritage. We also support a lot of heritage-based events, such as the Battle of Worcester Society Walks, museum events and the cathedral’s programme.
What’s special about having a horse race at Worcester as part of the festival?
For me, the Worcester Racecourse event in the Worcester Festival is a big highlight.
Not only is the racecourse a nationally-recognised eventing venue that Worcester should be taking every opportunity to promote, but there is a fantastic and appropriate heritage regarding the racecourse.
During the Battle of Worcester in 1651 the Royalist Cavalry was stationed on Pitchcroft, so it is ironic that it continues to have such a strong equestrian connection.
I’m thrilled that the Worcester Festival can be a part of linking that tradition.
At Worcester Racecourse, how will people know they are part of the festival?
The most obvious way you will know that you’re part of the festival is that you will see the festival staff in their striking bright blue T-shirts.
They will have lots of festival programmes and love talking to people about the festival.
We will also have Percy the Festival Peacock down at the racecourse as well as free face painting for children of all ages.
We’ve also sponsored a race and we will be presenting the race memento to the winners.
For more information and ticket details for the race night, visit worcester-racecourse.co.uk or call 01905 25364.