West Suffolk’s first Dragon Festival is being held at West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village on June 20 and 21

St Edmundsbury Borough Council Mayor Patrick Chung visits King Edward VI School to see final touches

St Edmundsbury Borough Council Mayor Patrick Chung visits King Edward VI School to see final touches being put to a 16m Chinese Dragon by pupils from: King Edward VI School, Riverwalk School, Howard Primary School and Sexton's Manor Primary School. - Credit: Christopher Morris

The first-ever festival to celebrate the dragon is taking place next weekend in west Suffolk.

The Dragon Festival at West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village on June 20 and 21 will feature costumed re-enactments of Beowulf and the Dragon, a reptile roadshow, raptor flight display, storytelling and a ‘live’ 7ft-tall T-Rex.

There will also be a dragon egg hunt, dragon slaying instruction and dragon fire safety drills and more.

More than 600 children from schools in the Bury Schools Partnership have been helping to make a 16-metre long Chinese dragon, which will be paraded through the town on June 17 and will also appear at the festival, as well as the Apex next month.

Mayor of St Edmundsbury, Patrick Chung, recently visited King Edward VI School to see the final touches being added to the Chinese dragon.

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He said: “Dragon Festival is a superb event for the town in which the community has already been very much involved.

“It is wonderful to see so many people having so much fun to help stage our first dragon celebrations.

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“The town’s schoolchildren have been working on the dragon since last September and it will look spectacular, with scales made from melted plastics, glitter and threads, as it is paraded through the town.

“There will be pupils representing all the schools in attendance, who in addition have made more than 600 lanterns and mini dragons for the project.

“I hope as many people as possible will be able to enjoy the dragon procession and festival which I am sure will also help further spread the name of Bury St Edmunds, nationally and even internationally, and also introduce hundreds of people to our heritage and that of West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village.”

Throughout history dragons have appeared in every culture across every land – apart from Antarctica – and featured in everything from literature to art, blockbuster movies, popular cartoons and video games. West Stow has a long association with the myths and legends surrounding dragons, or Wyrms, as the Anglo-Saxons called them, with the mythical creature present in many forms of Anglo-Saxon culture and art.

A festival display cabinet will include many of these artefacts such as metal work found at Icklingham, which inspired the event.

For more information visit www.whatsonwestsuffolk.co.uk

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