Thousands of Congletonians and guests from across the UK travelled to Congleton Park for an exciting afternoon of Medieval Mayhem!
The free event organised by Congleton Town Council featured medieval treats including jousting, dragons and falconry as part of the town’s 750th Charter year celebrations.
Congleton Town Mayor, Cllr Margaret Gartside picked up the gauntlet of opening the festival! She welcomed a packed audience and urged everyone to take care of themselves and each other on the gloriously hot day. Cllr Gartside said: “This has been another sensational event celebrating Congleton’s 750th anniversary. It makes me very proud to be the Town Mayor. It was wonderful to see the crowds enjoying the action-packed arena displays. The young and old alike were dazzled by the twice World Champions Knights of Nottingham. These Knights have won international awards for their amazing jousting events. It was a great honour to have them perform in our park.
There was so much to see, do and learn about our town’s medieval history with falconry demos, fire dancing, axe throwing and Dreygo the smoke-breathing dragon! Festival goers enjoyed food and drink stalls, traditional craft making, medieval music and the chance to go on a Dragon Quest through the ancient town woods. The same woods that people in 1272 walked through.”
Visitors who purchased an event programme were entered into a raffle to win a £100 cash prize. The lucky number drawn by the Knights of Nottingham was 2483. The winner has until 27 August to come forward. If the prize money is not claimed by this date, the town council will try again and issue another winning number at the Jazz and Bluey’s Brunch in the Town Hall on 28 August.
Jackie MacArthur, Communities and Marketing Manager and Deputy Chief Officer at the Town Council said: “On behalf of the town council, I would like to thank everyone involved who worked tirelessly to make this amazing event happen either behind the scenes or those that gave up their time on the day. We have a fantastic team of town council staff, councillors and volunteers whose support we really do appreciate. We were hugely supported by Congleton Rotary who managed the entrances and road closures. Congleton Community Projects who created and ran the craft tent and Jenny and John Unsworth who dreamt up and delivered the Dragon Quest.”
Jackie continues: “Special recognition must go to our magnificent performers and stall holders for coping with the conditions. With such extreme temperatures the paddock for the horses was extended to give more shade under the trees, and the birds of prey performed in the shade of the trees by the Bee Garden rather than out in the arena where lots of people were able to get pictures and speak with the handlers rather than see a flying display. We are also grateful to the local businesses that have offered their help and to all our event sponsors and heraldic banner sponsors whose financial contribution has gone towards the cost of staging the free festival and other 750 events throughout the year.”
The town is now gearing up for the Jazz and Blues Festival on the bank holiday weekend (27-28 August). Five bands will be playing in the Town Hall over the weekend – including Vavoom on the Saturday night. Tickets are now on sale for the Medieval Banquet in the Town Hall on Friday 30 September. The event is expected to be a sell out, tickets are available from the Congleton Information Centre.