Commemorate Shakespeare’s 453rd birthday
Everyone who lives or works in Stratford-upon-Avon benefits directly or indirectly from the town’s connection with Shakespeare and the Birthday Celebrations offer the community and local businesses a great opportunity to enjoy being involved with one of the biggest visitor attractions in the heritage calendar. The aim of Shakespeare’s Celebrations, a local initiative led by Stratford-upon-Avon Town Council and Stratford-on-Avon District Council is to generate financial and practical support for the traditional celebrations and safeguard their future for the town.
This year, the main procession will come down from the Great Garden, along Waterside and to flag positions in Bridge Street, Henley Street and High Street. Mr Shakespeare will collect his quill from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, the start of his journey from the cradle to the grave. He will meet the Head Boy of King Edward VI School and pass on his legacy in the form of the quill.
The Big Birthday Banner will be unfurled by this year’s Pride of Stratford Young Achiever of the Year winner, Max Willson. This will signal the unfurling of the other flags, commencing with the Union flag; the National Anthem will follow.
The band will play ‘Happy Birthday’ to which the crowd will respond with three cheers for William Shakespeare and the confetti canons will be launched.
The primary school children will then process to church lead by the Vicar of Holy Trinity Church, Rev. Patrick Taylor. The King Edward VI students gather and process up Bridge Street and follow behind the primary school children. The rest of the parade will follow after this. The procession will make its way along High Street, Chapel Street, Church Street, Old Town and arrive at Holy Trinity Church; the final resting place of William Shakespeare.
This concludes the formal part of the celebrations.