All you need to know about next weekend’s Whittlesea Straw Bear Festival
With Lockdown ruling out the traditional scene of hundreds of people out on the streets of Whittlesey next weekend, the festival society has been working hard on an online experience that recreates all the best bits.
Straw Bear is known for bringing the community together. This time join in virtually: Use #strawbearonline
So here is what you can look forward to.
FRIDAY 15TH JANUARY
CONCERT at 8pm
Relax at home and tune in to a feast of music and songs from some of the country’s best artists and some home grown talent from the Straw Bearers. Featuring Brown Boots, Granny’s Attic, Tim Van Eyken and more very special guests including o home grown artists.
SATURDAY 16TH JANUARY
MAYORAL ADDRESS FOLLOWED BY THE VIRTUAL PROCESSION at 10:30am Every Straw Bear Saturday is started by the Mayoral address to the dance teams prior to processing through the town.
This virtual year keeps that tradition and will see the best of the processions of years gone by.
FREE40 YEARS OF STRAW & STRING at 11:30am A talk by Brian Kell covering the history of the Whittlesea Straw Bear from past to present, along with the changes which have occurred throughout the years of the revival.
This event is hosted on Zoom, so you need to sign up to this event.
HOW TO BUILD A STRAW BEAR (time to be confirmed)
Ever wondered how the Straw Bear is built? Here is your chance to find out!
FREE LIVE MUSIC AND SONG SESSION at 2pm
White Rose Morris host the first of two music and song sessions. This event is hosted on Zoom, so you need to sign up to this event.
Members of White Rose Morris will lead the session and you can play along (on mute due to the lag in the sound) or just listen for your enjoyment and use the chat function to connect with the other participants.
Usually found in the Letter B pub into the small hours of the morning over the festival weekend, the White Rose Morris Men know how to get a session going. Grab yourself a beverage, an instrument and/or your voice and come and join in the virtual pub session experience.
STORY TELLER SESSION (time to be confirmed)
Gather round the screen with your family and tune in with story tellers free on Zoom.
ZOOM CEILIDH (BARN DANCE) from 7.30pm to 10pm.
Dance the night away at home with your household to the wonderful music from Sarah Matthews and Doug Eunson with caller Martyn Harvey. This is the only paid for event of the whole online festival - tickets are £6.
Sarah and Doug are two fantastic musicians who will transform the evening in to a joyful throng, along with the brilliant Martyn Harvey to give you all the moves to dance along.
SUNDAY 17TH JANUARY
LIVE MUSIC AND SONG SESSION from 12noon
Tom and Sarah Sennett will host the second of two music and song sessions over the weekend. This event is hosted on Zoom, so you need to sign up.
Tom and Sarah will lead the session, you will have the opportunity to lead a tune should you wish.
Stalwarts to Whittlesea Straw Bear, Tom Sennett’s first appearance as a Little Bear was in 1994. Both Tom and Sarah are fully immersed in the festival music and dancing scene. Both are members of Frog on a Bike ceilidh band and they will bring you lovely music and the occasional song to this live event.
MUSIC, DANCING AND SONG CONCERT 1.30pm
Returning to YouTube/Facebook for this concert, the best performances of what Straw Bear Sunday has to offer, with special guests including Hex, Pete Coe and Bayou Seco among plenty of other Straw Bear friends contributing.
STRAW BEAR BURNING from 2.30pm
The thing that tops it all off - although it wasn’t originally, but has now become tradition to ‘burn the Bear’. It wouldn’t be Straw Bear Sunday without burning the Straw Bear in the virtual company of friends.
For full details of how to join in go to https://strawbear.org.uk/