Dragons will soon be roaring in the streets of Norwich once more, as the Norwich Dragon Festival returns 10-23 February 2014. Get ready to meet fire-breathing dragons in the city, discover the hidden Dragon’s Spell and hear tales of dragons, beasts and knights from times of old.
Organised by Norwich’s Heritage Economic and Regeneration Trust (HEART), with support from Norwich Business Improvement District (BID), The Forum and the Norwich Town Close Estate Charity, the festival includes a wide range of events themed around dragons, to promote heritage to a broad audience during the post-Christmas depths of winter.
Dragon-seekers of all ages will enjoy films, sculptures, competitions, quests and tours, arts and craft activities, puppet shows, dragon trails, storytelling, dragon performances, talks, exhibitions, artwork and displays. You can see a snippet of some of the events in a special trailer video from Norwich HEART’s YouTube channel above:
Some of the highlights include The Dragon’s Spell – a quest throughout the city to track down dragons and uncover the secret spell (in conjunction with Writers’ Centre Norwich); Dragon Heart Beats – an incredible smoke-breathing, fire-throwing dragon performance outside The Forum; Meet The Dragon at intu Chapelfield – tame the dragon, rescue Sir Aurelious and win the Golden Breastplates to enter the Dragon’s Lair!; Dragon Festival Family Friday at The Assembly House, with crafts, beastly balloon-modelling and dragon carving with chainsaws; Feast of the Slain Dragon – a medieval re-enactment, including bards, minstrels and a special food market at St Michael (Miles) Coslany Church; a series of heritage talks and workshops, including events with the Centre for East Anglian Studies; and Dotty The Dragon – an enchanting fairy-tale adventure about a baby fire dragon, at Norwich Playhouse.
Dragons have been a heraldic symbol closely associated with the city of Norwich since the Middle Ages (including the Guild of St George and its procession featuring Snap the dragon), and today dragons are still visible across the city’s architecture and feature in many city celebrations.
Michael Loveday, Chief Executive of HEART said: “Our Norwich Dragon Festival is really a sneaky way of making the city’s rich history fun and accessible for the widest possible audience. We’re delighted with the response so far – some events have already sold out – and we hope the festival will liven up the grey, post-Christmas period and have a positive effect on the local economy – the last festival generated a spend of £450,000 over just a fortnight.”
Stephen Wright, General Manager of The Assembly House said: “We’re delighted to be part of the city’s Dragon Festival and we’re putting on a ‘Family Friday’, on Friday 21st February, when all kinds of family activities will take place in the Noverre Ballroom, such as mask-making, badge-making, dragon mobiles, balloon-modelling and a host of dragon-related games. Entry is free, so we’re hoping that lots of people will come along for some dragon-themed family fun!”
For more information about the festival visit www.heritagecity.org/dragonfestival, or pick up the brochure from around Norwich and Norfolk. You can also follow announcements about the festival on Twitter at @NorwichDragons and @NorwichHEART and #NorwichDragonFestival, or on Facebook – Norwich HEART or Norwich Dragon Festival.
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