Saint George’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate the many things that make England great. What is more, our patron saint’s diverse origins are a fitting allegory for modern, multi-cultural Derby.
Believed to have been born to Turkish and Palestinian parents in the third century, Saint George fought in the Roman army and was put to death after refusing to recant his Christian faith. Since then, many myths and legends have taken hold about his gallantry, including the famous tale of George and the Dragon.
We share our patron saint with Georgia, Malta, Portugal and Romania. This weekend people in England will be joining in festivities with others across Europe as we celebrate the values associated with his story.
In Derby, there is an exciting and quirky programme of events scheduled to showcase some of the things that make us proud to be English. From medieval re-enactments to Morris-dancing Daleks there really will be something for everyone.
This Saturday, you can bring your family down to the city-centre to enjoy the annual parade or participate in activities taking place in the Market Place throughout the day. I have no doubt that it will be a huge success and have even bought a special waistcoat for the occasion.
Earlier this month, the administration of Derby City Council made 50 pledges to protect public services in our city. Our St George’s Day celebrations mark the first element of a £250,000 commitment to providing an affordable programme of live events, together with our local partners.
We are proud of Derby and want to ensure it remains a regional hub for culture and the arts. Cultural events are an important part of what makes our city a vibrant and exciting destination, so we’re committed to developing our programme in the years ahead.
As part of our pledge, we will be bringing back the Darley Park Concert, which is set to take place on Sunday 3 September. I recognise how disappointed many residents were when this annual event was moved out of the city in 2016, so we’ve done everything we can to ensure its return this year.
But if these events are to have a sustainable future, we must work together. Given the dramatic reduction in funding experienced by both local government and the voluntary sector since 2010, the Council and our city’s cultural organisations need the support of residents, businesses and communities.
This could be from volunteering your time and ideas, encouraging your employer to get involved in a local event or simply by being prepared to pay a small fee for things that may have been free in the past.
Coming together as a city is one of the things that I think Derby does best. This weekend, as we celebrate St George’s Day, please give some thought to what you might be prepared to contribute to make sure our city remains a fantastic place to live, work and visit.
Entertainment will start at the Spot from 11am, with the annual St George’s Day parade setting off at 11:30am and arriving at the Market Place by noon.
Performances and activities will take place from 11:00am and throughout the afternoon in the Market Place.
For more information on the full programme of events, visit the Derby LIVE website.