Ten essential attractions at 52nd Wisbech Rose Fair based around the parish church and including the parade itself - so good they hold it twice
- Credit: Archant
It is Rose Fair time again in Wisbech – with thousands of visitors preparing to visit to celebrate what is generally regarded as East Anglia’s premier flower festival.
It begins on Wednesday and runs through until Saturday with the 900-year-old parish church of St Peter and St Paul once again be the setting for displays of traditional flowers and exotic blooms.
But this is a festival for all faiths and for all people in Wisbech – and the celebrations are across the town.
Here are our top 10 reasons for visiting Rose Fair:
1. St Peter and St Paul’s Church
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Here’s where to find the ‘Our Classical Heritage’ flower festival with organ recitals throughout. Entry is free, though donations are appreciated. Church open Wednesday to Saturday 8am – 6pm (except Thursday; 5pm). A choral evensong will be held at 4.30pm each afternoon and a civic service will take place at 10am on Sunday, July 5. Meals and refreshments are available from the church hall all day until 4pm; for bookings contact 01945 461393 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Peckover House and Garden
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The National Trust’s Peckover House and Garden will be open throughout the fair period for people to view from 11am-5pm each day, with gates opening at 11am and last admission 4pm.
3. Elgood’s Brewery and Gardens
Elgood’s Brewery and Gardens will be open to the public from 11.30am to 4.30pm on Wednesday, July 2 and Thursday, July 3. A tour of the brewery - which costs £3.50 for adults, £3 for children and over 60’s and free for under 6’s - will be available from 2pm.
4. Octavia Hill’s Birthplace House
On Wednesday, July 1, there will be a presentation on the history of the Rose Fair by Sam Smith which takes play at the Clarkson Memorial at 7pm.
5. Wisbech and Fenland Museum
Wisbech and Fenland Museum, where people can see one of the original manuscripts for Great Expectations, will be open from Wednesday, July 1 to Saturday, July 4, from 10am to 4pm. Free admission.
6. Wisbech Castle, Garden and Pump Room
‘Talk and Tour’ evening visits are available for groups of between 15 and 30 people can be arranged; these include a brief history, followed by tea/coffee and biscuits and a tour of the house and vaults. The tour costs £4.50 per person including refreshments; contact 01945 585096 to book.
7. Float Parade
As is tradition at the Wisbech Rose Fair, there will be a float parade throughout Saturday, July 4 from 11am and 2pm. This year, the floats are themed on animation films.
8. The Rose Queen
Elisha Thorpe, 14, was chosen as this year’s Rose Queen and will sit on the main float, leading two carnival parades on Saturday, July 4.
9. Wisbech Baptist Church
On Hill Street, off the Horsefair shopping centre, Wisbech Baptist Church will be holding a flower festival with the theme ‘Know the Name of Jesus’. Open for the whole Fair period from 10am to 4.30pm, admission is free and tea and coffee will be available.
10. Trinity Methodist Church
Trinity Methodist Church will be holding its own flower festival, based on the theme, ‘Bygones’ from Wednesday, July to Saturday, July 4 from 9am to 5pm. Refreshments will be available each day as well as crafts, gifts and tombola stalls.