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Lichfield Greenhill Bower Festival 2015

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by Tony Collins (subscribe)
I am a freelance writer specialising mainly in health and education and living in Staffordshire. Find me on Linked In
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From flying quad bikes to horse-back stunts
They've been doing this for centuries, but probably never as spectacularly as this.
Lichfield Bower Festival, Beacon Park, quad bike, stunts
Quad bikes takes to the air

The Lichfield Greenhill Bower Festival has its origins in the 12th century when King Henry II called an annual muster of able-bodied men across the land which, in Lichfield, always took place on Whit Monday.

The custom has been maintained to this day, as has the traditional street procession which has been led by Morris dancers for centuries.
Lichfield Bower Festival, Beacon Park, Morris dancers, Green Man's Morris and Sword Club
Morris dancers leading the parade

And celebrating their own slice of history at this year's Bower Festival, the Green Man's Morris and Sword Club marked their 60th anniversary by dancing at the head of the parade.

The parade finished up at Lichfield's Beacon Park which came alive with bags of thrills and entertainment in the main showgrounds throughout the day, making up for the cloudy skies.

The main attraction was undoubtedly provided by the Adrenalin Tour Quadbike, with former world champion moto-cross rider Jason Smyth providing breathtaking aerial jumps over an articulated rig, as well as stunts on his motorbike.
Lichfield Bower Festival, Beacon Park, Jive Pony
Horse riding stunts from Jive Pony

But there also no shortage of thrills during the routines provided by Jive Pony, which included one of the riders cantering around the ring on two horses at once.

Other displays were provided by a falconry display, search and rescue dogs, a group of wrestlers, and the Show of Strength team who made your limbs ache as they lifted an anvil and barrel each weighing almost 20 stone.

Lichfield Bower Festival, Beacon Park, Show of Strength
A barrel load of fun

Elsewhere in the festival grounds there were plenty of entertainment coming from a music tent with a number of live bands featuring the ever popular King Pleasure and the Biscuit Boys.

And if that wasn't enough to keep the many thousands of visitors happy, there was also a huge array of food outlets, a beer and wine tent, fairground attractions, arts and crafts, charity stalls, dance displays, and a special appearance by the newly crowned Bower Queen.

And, while all the fun and excitement was happening on the ground there was also the thrill overhead of a fly-past by a World War Two Spitfire.

The only disappointment is that we have to wait another year until next Whitsun.
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Why? A wonderful day of thrills and entertainment
Where: Beacon Park, Swan Road, Lichfield, Staffordshire WS13 6QZ
Cost: £3 adults, children five and under free
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