Whittlesey gearing up for Straw Bear Festival this weekend

Whittlesey Straw Bear Festival 2014 - keeper Rob Taylor leads the Bear ENGEMN00120141101165302

Whittlesey Straw Bear Festival 2014 - keeper Rob Taylor leads the Bear ENGEMN00120141101165302

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The colourful Straw Bear Festival returns to Whittlesey this weekend for its 35th anniversary since being revived.

Close to 350 performers will follow the Straw Bear around the town and perform at several of its venues between Friday, 9 and Sunday, 11 January.

Visitors are known to come from far and wide to enjoy the festival and they will be entertained with an array of dancing, story telling and poetry as well as a folk concert.

This year, the straw bear procession departs from the Manor Leisure Centre in Station Road at 10.30am on Saturday.

The procession finale will take place from 3-3.30pm on the market place, at the war memorial in Queen Street and in Station Road, followed by a return to the leisure centre.

On Sunday, the Straw Bear bonfire takes place at Sir Harry Smith Community College, Eastrea Road, at 2.30 pm. Preceding it is a music and dance session from noon.

A free park and ride service will operate from the college, A605 east side of the town, from 9am to 4pm.

Drivers should be aware that road closures will operate around Whittlesey on Saturday.

These include: Market Street, St Mary’s Street, London Street, Station Road, Market Square, High Causeway to New Crown Public House and Gracious Street.

Road signage will be in place with times and restrictions at the locations.

For more information on the day’s events visit www.strawbear.org.uk or follow @strawbearfest on Twitter.