Oyez, oyez, oyez: it’s the May bank holiday, the Duchess of Cambridge has successfully given birth to a princess (fourth in line for succession) and we’re well on the way to Summer.
You can toast the royal birth and celebrate the long weekend at the Queen Inn on Kingsgate Road where they’re hosting the annual Mayday bank holiday Beer Festival, 1st – 4th May. With thirty-five beers from Dorset & Somerset, five ciders, a bbq and hog roast on offer and served in outdoor marquees in the spacious and award-winning garden, complete with fish pond, it’s well worth a visit. Plus families are welcome.
Thursday 7th May is the General & City Council Election day, so make sure you have your polling card at the ready. Here’s a guide from Winchester City Council.
On Friday 8th it’s the Big Sleep Out, a sponsored sleeping event in the grounds of Winchester Cathedral in aid of Trinity Winchester and Winchester Churches Nightshelter local homelessness charities. Registration is £10 per person, or groups of 4 or more can submit a team entry for £30 with a minimum of £100 sponsorship. Register online here. Live music, games and competitions will take place over the evening, and to which everyone is welcome to attend. It’ll be ‘Sleepers’ only from 10pm bedding down in the grounds of the magnificent building. The Big Sleep Out is open to people over 11 years of age, although any participant under 18 years of age require adult supervision. It’s also a strictly no-alcohol event. You can get involved in other ways too, by creating cardboard dens at home with the ‘Big Sleep In’ (please visit the website for more info) or with event partner’s Hotel Du Vin special ‘Sleep In’ rate. It’s all about raising awareness and lots of cash for an important local issue and the two fantastic charities trying to tackle it.
Also on at Winchester Cathedral until the 9th May is the evolving photographic exhibition ‘Sleeping Rough’ by Joe Low, a presentation of some of the empty spaces where the homeless people in Winchester sleep. Over the journey of the exhibition additional photographs are being introduced. Some homeless people have agreed to be photographed with their most treasured possessions.
In celebration of a famous local crop, food fans will find a worthwhile reward if they travel to Alresford on 17th May for the Watercress Festival. The Hampshire Farmers Market will be taking place too, alongside local chefs showcasing the many uses of watercress in mouth watering dishes. There will also be arts, crafts and household goods on offer in a street market festival atmosphere.
To carry on the fundraising activities this month, children are being invited during the half-term holiday to toss their teddies off the roof of Winchester Cathedral between 10.30am and 1.30pm on 29th May. Parachutes will be provided, and a minimum sponsorship guide of £25 per teddy has been suggested. Funds raised will be donated to Action for Children. Once they’ve safely landed, the bruised bears and their proud owners can explore the Cathedral grounds and participate in a teddy bears’ picnic. There’s a £5 registration fee per bear.
Boomtown’s Kidztown returns on the 26th – 27th May with a two-day event for local children and families to participate in a variety of free creative carnival workshops at The Discovery Centre. KidzTown will be working in partnership with Bassline Circus on giant costume-making and carnival dance activities. Workshop participants are invited to perform with the carnival on Sunday. It’s suitable for 5-11 year olds and 11-16 year olds and their families.
Happy May, one and all, and please May-ke it a good one!