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A spring in their step
27 Jan 27 , 2023 Friday

A spring in their step

News Editor



Richmond MayFest returns for a second year this early May Bank Holiday weekend: 29 and 30 April and 1 May.

Building on the great success of last year’s inaugural event, MayFest offers a three-day feast of historical and traditional entertainments – all in the perfect setting of Richmond’s historic town centre. Loads of the events are free for everyone, and there is discounted entry for local people to all the ticketed events.

The festival brings together musicians, dancers and storytellers from the local community alongside guest performers from further afield. So, the Richmond on Swale Morris Men have moved their annual Day of Dance to coincide with MayFest, and are inviting dance sides from far and wide to come and dance in Richmond on the Sunday. And the Richmondshire Choral Society are holding their Spring concert on the Saturday in St Mary’s. Plus, the Black Lion Folk Club are leading a folk session… and that’s just a sample!

Not to be missed, the MayFest Tavern in Richmond Castle, 11am-4pm each day, with ales from Richmond Brewing Company and tasty treats from Granny’s Kitchen to be enjoyed as you soak up the entertainment. Local medieval minstrels Trouvere will be based at the castle, with guest appearances from other bands including Tritor and Bisarr, who were big hits in 2022. There is Maypole dancing at the Castle too, on Saturday and Sunday, and then on the Monday local storytellers will be telling tales in the Keep.

Local residents (DL9, DL10 and DL11) get free entry to the Castle all weekend – just bring a proof of address.

As well as at the castle, there's more free entertainment in the Market Place and Town Hall. On Saturday the focus is music, on Sunday it’s the Day of Dance, and Monday is the day for storytelling - plus there are crafty activities for families on offer.

Last year, we had a wonderful musical walk from The Station to Easby, and that’s definitely happening again. Join folky supremos The Ran Tanners at 4pm on Saturday and walk along the Swale to St Agatha’s for tea and cake, before the concert with Janice Burns and Jon Doran at 5pm. These two are outstanding young folk musicians – expect sparkling guitar and mandolin and gorgeous vocal harmonies.

The MayFest ceilidh returns on Sunday evening – but this year it is at Richmond School; with a largere venue than last year's, which sold out, there's room for more dancers and more dancing.

On Monday there’s another musical procession around Richmond Market Place and down to the Methodist Church for the final (free) event – magical tales with amazing Yorkshire storyteller Ursula Holden Gill.

It’s going to be a great weekend to ‘see in the May’!

For more information, plus tickets for concerts and the ceilidh visit the MayFest website.

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