Listen out for the distinctive sound of the squeezebox, thundering clogs and fast fiddle work, as Lincoln gets ready to welcome a colourful fiesta of English dancing.
The Lincoln BIG Morris Festival is on its way to the city and more than 20 groups of dancers will be showing off their impressive footwork on Saturday, September 6.
Organiser Diane Booth said: “The Festival will be staged in various parts of the city, so there’s no excuse for people to miss out.
“In uphill Lincoln, Morris groups will be dancing at St Paul.’s Yard, off Bailgate, next to the Victoria Pub (Union Road), at the Museum of Lincolnshire Life (Burton Road) and in Minster Yard, in front of Lincoln Cathedral.
“Downhill, the dancers will be performing outside the Royal William IV in Brayford Wharf North, in St Benedict Square (off the High Street) and outside The Works in the upper High Street.”
The action gets underway at 10.30am and there’s a break for lunch from 12.45pm to 2pm – but there’s also lots of activities to be enjoyed during that period too.
Lunchtime fun includes music and singing sessions at The Strugglers in Westgate and The Victoria in Union Road and there is shanty singing at the Museum of Lincolnshire Life between 12 noon and 2pm.
The grand finale gets underway in Minster Yard at 3pm, when each Morris group demonstrates a show dance.
“It’s a great opportunity for people to see and hear Morris Groups from six different counties, including Lincolnshire,” said Diane.
Groups to look out for include The Rhubarb Tarts, which hails from Wakefield. Members who specialise in “Molly” dances, are unmisssable in their colourful outfits – a bright mix of pink, green, red and yellow, reflecting the shades of rhubarb!
Bishop Morris Longsword, from Lincoln, will be majoring on longwords and rapper dancing. Lincoln & Micklebarrow from the Cotswolds, Poacher Morris (Border Lincoln), Greenwood Step Clog from Nottingham and Way of the Wyrd (Loughborough) are also taking part in the Festival.
“The Festival is basically a Morris dancing showcase. It is also a great opportunity for enthusiasts to meet up with like-minded people and to encourage people to enjoy, and even try, a taste of traditional English dancing,” said Diane.
The Lincoln BIG Morris Festival culminates with a celebration Ceilidh. Lincoln-based Liam Robinson and his Band will be hosting the event at the Westgate Junior Academy in Westgate, from 7.30pm to 11pm.
Everyone is welcome and tickets, costing five pounds, are available at the door.
Lincoln BIG Events & Promotions Manager Michael Armstrong added: “The Morris Festival has become an increasingly popular attraction on our calendar of events and we encourage shoppers and visitors to take time out to enjoy it.”