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Learn What The Georgians Did For Us With New Heritage Event
The historic city of Lichfield turned back the centuries to the time of the Georgian period for a unique festival that brought the crowds flocking to see much of its heritage. The city's first ever Lichfield Georgian Festival, which ran over the weekend of September 17 and 18, comprised a range of themed talks, walks, activities and entertainment for all ages.
The Coldstream Guards entertain the crowds in Lichfield
The free entry festival included a Georgian encampment in Beacon Park, costumed characters, a Georgian fashion show, a Son-et-Lumière light show as well as gin and tea trails, live entertainment and more. And, at the same time, heritage venues threw open their doors and offered guided tours and activities over the weekend, including The Samuel Johnson Birthplace Museum, Erasmus Darwin House, St Mary's in the Market Square, Lichfield Cathedral, the Guildhall prison cells, Lichfield Record Office in Lichfield Library, Wade Street Church and Dr Milley's Hospital.
Georgian townsfolk, soldiers and highwaymen paraded around the city centre in character, stopping to talk to visitors and pose for photos. In addition, there was a food market along Minster Pool Walk and free activities and entertainment on the city's Market Square, including free face painting and craft activities for children such as decorating masks. There was plenty of entertainment on offer on Market Square, including the Dr Johnson birthday celebrations with the Lichfield Singers, a performance by Intimate Theatre, a Mini Town Crier Competition, sea shanties by the Lighthouse Company, and music from both Wildfire Folk and the City of Lichfield Concert Band.
A Georgian fashion show in aid of St Giles Hospice
And, as 2016 marks the 250th anniversary of the Lunar Society, events on Saturday finished with the Moonlight Son-et-Lumière light projection at Museum Gardens in Beacon Park. Created by Luxmuralis for Erasmus Darwin House, the light shows featured beautiful artwork celebrating the Lunar Society. The Georgian fun, covering the period from 1714 to 1830, continued on into Sunday, including a Georgian fashion show at the Guildhall to raise money for St Giles Hospice.
Councillor Helen Fisher, Lichfield District Council's Cabinet Member for Tourism & Communications, said: "The city centre was packed throughout Lichfield Georgian Festival, with thousands of people enjoying all the free activities on offer. There was a fantastic atmosphere and such a lot going on. The weekend really shone a spotlight on Lichfield and all we have to offer locals and visitors and was a great way to celebrate our Georgian history."