Primary School pupils celebrate Straw Bear Festival

Pupils from a primary and nursery school in Whittlesey are going to be part of a procession to mark the famous Whittlesea Straw Bear Festival which takes place from 11 January 2013 to 13 January 2013.

Pupils from the Park Lane Primary and Nursery School in Whittlesey will take part in the street procession on Saturday 12 January 2013 which will have over 250 dancers, musicians and performers from various parts of the British Isles performing traditional ‘Molly’, ‘Morris’, ‘Clog’ and ‘Sword’ dances.

Peter Ingham, Teacher at the Park Lane Primary and Nursery School said, “For the past five years, Park Lane has been dancing in the Straw Bear parade.

“Initially the pupils learned about the Whittlesea area, its history and its traditions across the curriculum. The pupils were then taught some simple molly dance moves and incorporated them into their own choreographed routines.

“There will also be pupils in the parade banging a large drum so the dancers can keep in time and carrying a large Park Lane banner so that everyone can see where we are.

“The pupils thoroughly enjoy taking part in the parade and will relish having hundreds of people applaud and cheer their efforts.

“It is a great way for children to learn about and be involved with their local community whilst making it a fun part of their learning”.

The Whittlesea Straw Bear Festival started in the 17th Century and had a decline in the 20th Century.

A revival of the festival was initiated by the Whittlesea Society in 1980 and has continued ever since.

A decorated plough pulled by a local Morris side is now an established part of the procession.

Although the festivities begin earlier in the week, the Saturday is the only day on which the ‘Bear’ makes an appearance before the ‘Bear Burning’ on the Sunday.

This leaves the way open for a new bear to be created from the next season’s harvest.

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Media Contact: Ryan Hyman, Athene Communications, 01733 207338 or email: [email protected]