2018 Programme

Please note this is a draft programme for 2018. Timings are TBC.


Approx. Timing Shakespeare Birthday Celebrations

Procession & Flag Unfurling Ceremony


Saturday 21 April 2018


 10:15am The Shakespeare Birthday Celebration commences with the KES School Parade followed by the Primary Schools processing from Waterside through the Arena to Holy Trinity Church, led by the Coventry Corps of Drums and the ATC Band:
10:35am The West Midlands Fire Service Band will lead civic dignitaries, diplomats and other invited guests in procession from Waterside Parade route: Waterside, Bridge Street and High Street;
10:50am The Lord Lieutenant will place a wreath below the bust of Shakespeare, situated in front of the Dais:
10:57am Tony Bird and young achiever of the year, Sophie Evans-Lee, will unfurl the Big Birthday Banner, accompanied by a Drum Roll.
10:58am Ceremonial Fanfare – Lord Lieutenant unfurls the Union Flag, followed by all other flags simultaneously:
11:00am The National Anthem will immediately follow;
11:02am Shakespeare’s Birthday Cake arrives in the arena. The Band will play ‘Happy Birthday’, each line is interspersed by the firing of confetti cannons.
11:04am The Cake makes a triumphant circuit of Bridge Street, and the Town Criers lead ‘Three Cheers for William Shakespeare’;
11:10am The Literary Community Carnival Pageant enters Bridge Street, each group introduced by the Compere, Michael Collie;
  11:12am Shakespeare hands a Quill to the leader of each group, as they pass;
  11:45am The winners of the Pageant are announced by the Mayor and presented with a cheque for £500.00 courtesy of sole pageant sponsor Bell Court;
11:50am From Bridge Street, the WMFS Band will then lead the Parade  to Holy Trinity Church, via High Street, Chapel Street, Church Street and Old Town;
12:15pm Parade participants will pass through Holy Trinity Church, depositing flowers at Shakespeare’s grave;
The Parade is now over;
Community festivities and street entertainment takes place throughout the town.

Throughout the day


Community festivities and street entertainment take place throughout the town.



Shakespeare Sunday

Sunday 22 April 2018

10:00am Reception at the Town Hall from 10:00am onwards (by invitation);
10:00am Mr Shakespeare will process from the Birthplace with the Quill, accompanied by Drummers;
10:15am The Quill arrives at the Town Hall, and is handed over to the KES Head Boy who will take it to church;
10:50am The Civic Procession from the Town Hall to Holy Trinity Church via Chapel Street, Church Street, Old Town;
11:15am Divine Service in Holy Trinity Church.  The Quill will be ceremoniously received, and subsequently placed in the hand of the effigy of Shakespeare overlooking his grave;



The final blessing of The Shakespeare Service places a finite note on the 454th Shakespeare Birthday Celebrations, 2018;


Community festivities and street entertainment take place throughout the town, including the National Living Statue Competition.  Statues will be on display on the Bancroft Gardens on Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday.  The winner will be announced at 4:00pm on Waterside.


The timings shown are approximate and details were correct at the time of going to press, but nonetheless are subject to change.

We hope you enjoy the occasion.

Please join us again in 2019, on the weekend of 27 and 28 April