Shakespeare's Birthday Celebrations 2014
Celebrate Shakespeare's 450th birthday in Stratford-upon-Avon!
25-26 April 2014
Join in with the whole town as we celebrate Shakespeare's 450th Birthday with processions, street entertainment and plenty of fun.
Friday 25 April
Godiva's Odyssey, part of the 2012 London Olympiad, will be in Stratford-upon-Avon from Friday 25 - Saturday 26 April. The 20ft mechanical figure will join us on Henley Street from 5pm on Friday night for a sleepover. There will be music and dancing to entertain her with, as we share stories and explore the role of women in Shakespeare's works. The festivities will come to an end around 8pm after Godiva has been lulled to sleep by gentle cello music.
On Saturday 26th Godiva will wake up in time to join the birthday procession through Stratford, before spending the afternoon in Bancroft Gardens.
Saturday 26 April
The Complete Works - A Shakespeare Marathon
Sit back and relax as our resident troupe of actors, Shakespeare Aloud! bring Shakespeare's complete works to life in just two hours - phew!
Hands Across the World
What better place to celebrate Shakespeare's birthday than in his Great Garden. Bring a picnic along and add your handprint to our exciting plans for a new New Place.
Knights and Nymphs Toddlers Party (under 5s), 1-2pm
Bring a picnic and enjoy free entry to the gardens at Hall's Croft. There'll be entertainment, birthday cake, dressing up and prizes for the best Knight and Nymph.
Shakespeare's Birthday Cake
You can't celebrate a big birthday without a slice of cake! Visitors to Shakespeare's Family Homes will be offered a slice of cake at the following times on Saturday 26 April:
Mary Arden's Farm and Anne Hathaway's Cottage & Gardens - All day
Nash’s House - 1pm-2pm
Hall’s Croft - 2pm-3pm
Shakespeare’s Birthplace - 3pm-4pm
Stratford comes alive to celebrate Shakespeare's Birthday, and this year promises to be bigger than ever as the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, working with performers and community groups from Stratford-upon-Avon and beyond, present the People's Pageant and free entertainment throughout the town centre.
Festivities begin from 11am with the grand Birthday Procession, which parades through the historic spine of Stratford and finishes with the laying of flowers on Shakespeare’s grave at Holy Trinity Church.
Immediately following the Procession, our special guest Godiva will lead the People's Pageant along Bridge Street, High Street, Sheep Street and onto the Bancroft Gardens, where she will spend the afternoon being entertained by a host of performers.
The Pageant includes representatives of local, regional and national arts and community organisations - from the Shakespeare Hospice to the regional Bhangra band. Expect colour and music as we start the people's birthday party!
Throughout the afternoon the Bancroft Gardens, Henley Street and Cornmarket will host performances by groups including the Stratford Concert Band, Swan Tai Chi, Somebody at the Door Samba band, the 1623 Theatre Company, The Wayfarers, All Strings and Things, The Stratford Renaissance Dance group and students from Stratford Music Centre. Choirs, dance, music and theatre - and all completely free!
Don't miss your opportunity to join in the fun as we celebrate this milestone birthday of the world's favourite storyteller and Stratford's favourite son.