Revellers celebrate St George's Day

HUNDREDS of people took to the streets at the weekend as the region celebrated England's patron saint.Parades took places in towns and villages across the region, with fine weather contributing to the party mood.

HUNDREDS of people took to the streets at the weekend as the region celebrated England's patron saint.

Parades took places in towns and villages across the region, with fine weather contributing to the party mood.

"St George", with other historical characters in costume, was in Woodbridge on Saturday riding a white horse along the Thoroughfare and up to Market Hill between 11am and noon.

More than 40 England flags were flying over the town to mark the day, which began with a Suffolk Punch stallion on Market Hill, and Morris dancers entertaining the crowds.

For children, there were face painters and people making balloon animals in the streets and the library in New Street also held Dragon Day events reciting dragon stories and poems.

Yvonne McAlpine, of the Georgian Coffee House, who led the volunteers organising the activities, said: "We did it for the first time last year, and it was a great success.

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"Now we are building on that, and getting tremendous commitment from people in the town. Stores, pubs, restaurants, the library, the Rotarians and the town's oldest school are all pitching in."

Elsewhere early-risers flocked to a farmer's market at Easton Farm Park to celebrate the day with a traditional English fry-up.

The event, co-hosted with the Country Land and Business Association, used local produce and included entry to the farm park, which was holding its monthly market.

There was also an exhibition of artwork by Easton Primary School pupils, who created imaginative versions of George's dragon, as well as drawing up a quiz on the saint for some of the 2,500 visitors.

Farm park manager Fiona Kerr said: "The weather has been perfect, we have got lots of people here.

"I think people are really enthused, but there's not really enough about it. Everyone knows when St Patrick's Day is celebrated.

"We have been running the quiz all week and we have had people who have been pleasantly surprised about St George."

Meanwhile the sun-baked streets of Bury St Edmunds were busy with spectators yesterday for the annual St George's Day parade.

Hundreds of boy scouts, cubs, girl guides, brownies, sea scouts and members of the Boys' Brigade made up the body of the parade which snaked through the streets to the heart of the medieval town to the tune of various marching bands.

In perfect formation they filed past the crowds gathered to witness the spectacle on Angel Hill and past the cathedral, before taking part in a special St George's Day service.

Yesterday morning, a civic service was held in Colchester at St Peter's Church on North Hill, followed by a reception at the Town Hall.

In the afternoon hundreds of scouts marched down the High Street and took the Mayor's salute before assembling for a service at St Botolph's Church.

Members of the Colchester Town Watch continued their tradition of marching to the war memorial on Saturday to mark St George's Day.

There they placed a crown of laurel leaves on St George's head and stood guard for a time.

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