GALLERIES: March puts on a show worthy of St George himself as thousands flock to celebrate
- Credit: Archant
THEY predicted 5,000 but by early afternoon there could easily have been double that number as March went on a glorious, fun filled St George’s Day spectacular.
It was planned for this, the 4th annual event, to begin at 10.30am but long before then crowds had surged into town to begin the celebrations early.
Maybe the weather – a sunny but cool spring morning- helped and maybe the publicists had done their job immensely well.
But most agreed the combination of events – scattered widely across the town centre and beyond- plus the signal that six long winter months looked to have ended gave it an enormous boost.
Fenland District Council launched the event as part of its four seasons town events but the town council and people of March have made it their own.
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Uniformed groups from March also now recognise the importance of the occasion, several hundred now joining the traditional St George’s Day from the market square to St Peter’s Church.
The piped refrain of Peterborough Highland Band reverberated through the town as the parade set off, creating a path through a crowded avenue of stalls and onlookers.
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Markets manager Mike Chapman beamed contentedly throughout – agreeing it was the best yet and easily the best attended.
“It’s absolutely fantastic and a delight to see all the hard work of so many rewarded with such a turn out,” he said. His work is partly to put the nuts and bolts together to make the occasion come together but he recognised too the significant contribution of hundreds of others.
The police were in attendance, but delighted by the lack of bother and a discreet reminder here and here was enough to ensure the day passed without incident.
There was coffee served with marshmallow, bargain priced cakes to launch a new tea room, burgers and beef rolls in abundance, and a cacophony of noise and excitement to entertain the youngest to the oldest.
Punch and Judy drew enormous support and so too did the Majorettes and the MADOS operatic group who were among the market place performers.
Along the river boats festooned with flags added to the atmosphere, pubs and restaurants toasted the day – and the takings boost- and charities tempted happy revellers to part with their pennies and pounds.
There was even a chance to Meet Your Councillor, a brave and interesting experiment led by town mayor Councillor Jan French but which proved to be an interesting encounter for many.
“We got asked loads of questions but really it was a case of making ourselves better known and showing people what work the town council does,” said Cllr French.
“We had a good turn out of councillors and it was a great occasion”.
Next year of course there are those looking to make the day even bigger and better guaranteeing at least that in this part of England fondness for our patron saint remains keenly felt.