Masks, magic and mayhem — the winter droving is back

Date: Monday 2nd October 2017
Crowds line Penrith town centre during last year’s Droving.
Picture: Graham Wynne
Crowds line Penrith town centre during last year’s Droving. Picture: Graham Wynne

PENRITH’S unique celebration with masks, magic and mayhem is to take place on Saturday, 28th October, to welcome in the winter on the final day of British Summer Time.

The Winter Droving is to take place on the old festival of Samhain marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of the “darker half” of the year.

Organiser Eden Arts says this year’s event promises more fancy dress, a mixture of local and regional bands and an end-of-procession finale from Droving favourites The Baghdaddies.

Spread across the town centre, the festival will boast four stages filled with local and national acts playing a wide range of music, along with street acts roaming the town.

Eden Arts director Adrian Lochhead said: “The Winter Droving has fast become embedded into the town and the county’s culture. It’s a regional highlight with people now coming from all over the UK. We’ve created a bit of a monster … one with a very friendly face. It’s great to have so much support from local businesses this year, too.”

Visitors don masks, and dress up on the theme of animals, drovers, fire, and winter throughout the day. Local teams will take part in traditional events including hay bale racing, pint pass, egg throwing, tug of war and Cumberland sausage eating.

As darkness falls a fire and lantern procession will feature all the usual fun, with locals and visitors alike expected to line the streets throughout the town.