Crowds enjoy Whittlesea Straw Bear Festival
Crowds enjoyed the Whittlesea Straw Bear Festival over the weekend as the hugely popular event returned for the 41st time since its revival.
After the traditional Friday start - which included presentations to children at the town’s primary schools and a concert at the Ivy Leaf Club - celebrations began in full on Saturday morning with the parade from the Manor Leisure Centre. The festival is renowned for its dancing and this year saw a number of dance teams support the bear on its travels, all the way up to the finale at 3pm in Market Place. Other activities on the day included Poets United and Sanjay presenting poetry and acoustic music in the Town Hall and stories told by Hanna Brailsford in Queen Street Methodist United Reformed Church in the afternoon. Saturday finished with a barn dance at Sir Harry Smith Community College, while the school also played host on the Sunday for the final dance and music session, followed by the straw bear bonfire in the afternoon.