Shakespeare’s Birthday Parade – The National Wonders Tour

Shakespeare National Wonders

I’ve lived in Stratford Upon Avon all my life so you may be shocked to hear that I had never been to Shakespeare’s Birthday Celebrations until this weekend. I know that’s probably really hard to believe. I suppose when you live amongst the thriving tourist industry that we do, you kind of just take it all for granted and go with the flow. This year however, was different. I went along as part of National Express’ National Wonders Tour to find out whether this is really how the UK like to spend a day.

 

What is the National Wonders Tour?

National Express are currently touring the length and breadth of the UK on their National Wonders tour. They are celebrating all of the craziest and quirkiest events that happen in and around our beautiful British Isles. National Express invited me along to Shakespeare’s 454th Birthday Parade and Celebrations on 21st April in Stratford Upon Avon and as I had never been before, I was looking forward to embracing the traditions of my hometown.

 

A Day Of Celebration

We arrived early in the town as we know it is a very popular event. Many people travel from near and far to spend the day in the town centre celebrating the birth of our famous Bard. It was a beautiful, hot and sunny day and the town had a fantastic vibe to it, despite not being overly busy early on.

There were many things planned throughout the day. Street performers such as Morris Men and Circus Acts along with singing groups and a National Living Statue Championship. Alongside all of this was the Market Village which had a whole host of tasty foods for visitors to try.

 

Shakespeare’s Birthday Parade

By the time the parade started at around 10.15, the town had really got busy and getting up the streets was tricky. We managed to find a spot so we could bring you some fantastic pictures. Take a look at the pictures below. It was a site to behold.

 

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Seeing the children from the local schools take part was really lovely. There were appearances from King Edward School for boys, where Shakespeare himself studied as a boy. The cutest thing was seeing the primary school children proudly taking part in their school uniform. Don’t they look adorable?

 

The Arrival Of Shakespeare

After the procession had passed through, a very large cake appeared and it was transported to the very centre of the town and stopped in front of all of the crowd. Everyone sang Happy Birthday and then all of a sudden William Shakespeare himself popped out of the cake!

 

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He’s not looking bad for 454, is he?!

 

After William Shakespeare did his rounds and the flags from all over the world were unfurled, the procession continued with local people from various businesses, schools and organisations. The effort that all involved went to was tremendous.

 

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The Market Village

There was no chance of going hungry on this National Wonders tour. The Market Village put on a feast for the five thousand with a huge array of tasty treats for all taste buds.

 

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National Living Statue Championship

We’ve all seen the amazing living statues that grace us with their presence in the towns of the UK. Well, this year at the Birthday celebrations they held a National Living Statue Championship and I have to say, they were incredible. Not only were they fabulously made up but they all deserved an award for not melting in the heat under all of the spectacular clothes and makeup. How on earth they stayed so still, I will never know!

 

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Great Atmosphere With Lots To See And Do

I have to say, there was never a dull moment during my National Wonders tour of Shakespeare’s Birthday Celebrations. The atmosphere on the streets was second to none, everyone was having a wonderful time. There was face painting and balloon animal making for the children. I also loved all of the fabulous fancy dress that passed you by on every street.

 

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A National Wonder Indeed

I have to say, I was very impressed with my trip to Shakespeare’s Birthday celebrations. As I mentioned earlier, I have lived in Stratford Upon Avon for over thirty years. I’ve grown up with Shakespeare and the tourist industry that comes with it. As locals, I feel we can possibly take a lot of it all for granted. There was a huge feeling of pride and patriotism in me as I stood and watched the whole town come together to celebrate the man that made it famous. Thousands of people come to Stratford every year and I can now see why. Looking at it through different eyes, I can see that it really is a wonderful place and a national wonder indeed! One thing is for certain, we sure know how to put on a Birthday party!

 

Before the day was out, I needed to do something that all tourists do when they come to Stratford. Now, I have always said that over the years, I must have been in hundreds of other people’s photos when they took their snapshots of the Bard’s birthplace. It was finally time to get my own photo!

 

Shakespeare National Wonders

 

National Express can take you to many fabulous National Wonders throughout the UK, including my lovely Stratford Upon Avon. Find out how at the National Express website.

 

 


Written in collaboration with National Express

 

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16 Comment

  1. Reply
    Tubbs
    23rd April 2018 at 1:32 pm

    What an amazing day! Thank you for sharing it with us. (We have a similar parade each year to celebrate A Famous Local and we’ve never been either!! You do take it for granted when you live there).

  2. Reply
    tammymum
    23rd April 2018 at 6:19 pm

    I didn’t realise there was such a celebration for Shakespeare’s birthday either. I love that there is though and it does look like a great day out. I do really like Stratford, we had a really good few days there many moons back. I especially like the look of that market, it looks right up my street. Thanks for joining us at #familyfun

  3. Reply
    Pinkiebag
    24th April 2018 at 7:10 am

    Hi, I had no idea that such a Day resisted. It looks like a fantastic way for all ages to enjoy. The statues look incredible and what a selection of food #triumphanttales

    1. Reply
      Jaki
      24th April 2018 at 7:12 am

      The statues were incredible!

  4. Reply
    passion fruit, paws and peonies
    24th April 2018 at 7:12 am

    What a fun day you had – it really looked like a great atmosphere! I never knew they did this but I would deffo attend if one was near me – the food market is a great addition! xx #TriumphantTales

    1. Reply
      Jaki
      24th April 2018 at 9:46 am

      Great atmosphere and quite amazing how many different nationalities were there.

  5. Reply
    Sim @ Travel Guide Blog
    24th April 2018 at 11:31 am

    Oh how wonderful, it looks like such a wonderful celebration, I wasn’t even aware of it! I am the same, I do not attend half as many local events as I should do! Sim x #TriumphantTales

  6. Reply
    Collette Dunn
    24th April 2018 at 11:39 am

    Wow it looks fantastic! Stratford Upon Avon is on my list of places to visit very soon. Fab pics too #triumphanttales

  7. Reply
    endardoo
    24th April 2018 at 12:10 pm

    A great day out … here’s to the Bard himself. The original Triumphant Tale! #TriumphantTales

  8. Reply
    Patrick Weseman
    24th April 2018 at 3:54 pm

    That is so super cool. I would love to have gone and seen it. What a cool experience. Thanks for sharing it. #TriumphantTales

  9. Reply
    viewfromthebeachchair
    24th April 2018 at 8:24 pm

    Love all the pictures!!! Looks like a smashing day! #triumphanttales

  10. Reply
    Kayleigh (mini Human Resources)
    24th April 2018 at 8:40 pm

    Ah this looks like a great day, I do love a parade, especially when the little ones are marching in it! #triumphanttales

  11. Reply
    thewillowtree1
    26th April 2018 at 10:35 am

    How did I not know about this celebration!? I don’t live too far from Stratford at all and I would have loved this!!! Ah well, will have to attend next year. It looks like loads of fun! #Triumphanttales

  12. Reply
    motherhoodtherealdeal
    26th April 2018 at 1:16 pm

    I didn’t know you lived in Stratford Upon Avon hun – we were there over the Easter hols…such a lovely place. The festivities look amazing and I am totally loving the fact that Shakespeare popped out of a cake – LOVE IT! Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub lovely xoxo

  13. Reply
    mummyconstant
    26th April 2018 at 2:02 pm

    WOW – this looks really busy and very interesting. 🙂 #CoolMumClub

  14. Reply
    Lisa Pomerantz
    3rd May 2018 at 6:25 pm

    This looks AMAZING! And a celbration that Shakespear certainly deserves! I can’t get over those statues — what fun! Did they freak the kids out? What great fun, Jaki! #Triumphanttales xoxo

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