Saturday 22 April, 2023
- 9:30am – Civic Coffee Reception at the Town Hall – (by invitation only);
- 9:45am – 10:15am – Band entertains assembling crowds at the top of Bridge Street and returns to Sheep Street to lead the VIP procession;
- From 10:00am – Mustering commences in the Bancroft Gardens, near the Swan Fountain, where Marshals will be on duty to assemble guests in parade order
- 10:10am – The town’s primary school children gather in Waterside outside the Encore from 10:10am onwards.
- 10:30am – Led by the Air Training Corps Band (ATC), they move off at to assemble in upper Bridge Street for the arrival of the procession. The ATC Band will then fall out into head of High Street;
- 10:35am – Guests parade from the Bancroft Gardens to flag positions along the sides of Bridge Street;
- 10:40am – The WMFS Band will lead the Diplomats, and other principal guests in procession from the Town Hall to Bridge Street for the flag unfurling ceremony. Parade route: Sheep Street, Waterside and Bridge Street.
- 10:45am – Dignitaries and Diplomats, led by the Lord Lieutenant, arrive at flag positions in the central column in Bridge Street.
- 10:46am – ‘Mr Shakespeare’ reaches the arena from the Birthplace, having collected the Quill. The Beadle and Town Criers will chorus “Hip, Hip, Hooray”. “Let the Celebrations Begin”. Mr Shakespeare holds up the Quill;
- 11:00am – A fanfare will herald the unfurling of the Union Flag by the Lord Lieutenant. All flags will then be unfurled simultaneously thereafter. The National Anthem will immediately follow;
- 11:04am – Students from King Edward VI School march through the arena from Waterside, to lead the procession to Holy Trinity church, accompanied by the Vicar of Stratford-upon-Avon, Reverend Patrick Taylor;
- 11:06am – The primary school children follow behind the KES procession;
- 11:20am – The WMFS Band will accompany the Civic Procession and other guests from Bridge Street along High Street, Chapel Street, Church Street and Old Town to the church;
- 11:28am – The Compere invites spectators, intent on going to church to lay flowers, to join the end of the Procession as it moves into High Street. Shakespeare Morris will follow;
- 11:40am – The Procession will pass through Holy Trinity Church, depositing flowers at Shakespeare’s grave;
- 11:50am – The Procession is now over;
- From 12 noon – The official Shakespeare Birthday Luncheon will be held in the Theatre Gardens. This is a ticketed event which is independently organised. More information can be found here.
Sunday 23 April, 2023
- 10:00am – Civic Coffee Reception at the Town Hall from 10:00am onwards (by invitation only);
- 10:30am – Mr Shakespeare arrives at the Town Hall and ceremoniously offers the Quill to the King Edward VI Captain of School ;
- 10:50am – A Procession from the Town Hall to Holy Trinity Church via Chapel Street, Church Street, Old Town, led by the ATC Band;
- 10:55am – King Edward VI Captain of School takes the Quill in procession to Holy Trinity Church;
- 11:15am – The Shakespeare Service in Holy Trinity Church, where the Quill will be received and placed in the hand of Shakespeare’s effigy above his grave. The service includes the Shakespeare Sermon and performance of verse and music from members of the current RSC ensemble. This concludes the official events for the weekend.
All timings stated are subject to change, but details were correct at the time of going to press.