Programme of events
The ringing of bells at the village church marks the opening of the annual Blackawton International Festival of Wormcharming.
There is free car parking in a field close to the village centre. Please follow the signs and look out for our stewards who will direct you.
From 11am the crowd and competitors gather outside The Normandy Arms. Early arrivals can check out the food and drink at the pub. There will also be a ram roast on the grass adjacent to Worm HQ and for those who want to stretch their legs,The George Inn will also be serving food and drinks. Grab a beverage and await the crescendo of activity leading up to the procession through the village.
Proceedings get underway at 11.45am with the crowning of of the village May princess. This ancient village tradition - lost in recent years - was revived in 2015 and continues this year.
Midday is the deadline for teams to submit their entries for the Wormcharming competition in to Worm HQ (the village bus shelter). There are separate categories for adults and under 11's and entry is just £3 per team. Competitors be warned - anyone arriving with a fluid of any description to use in the wormcharming competition will be invited by the International Judges to sample some of it themselves. This is done to ensure that no-one is using irritants of any description.
The Wormcharming programme will be available to purchase for just £1 from Worm HQ, The George Inn and from a number of our team around the village. Hang on to your programmes! One lucky programme-holder will be the winner of a cash prize. The winning programme will be announced during the medal ceremony in the Wormcharming field. If the winner does not come forward here we will continue to repeat the announcement between the live music acts at The George Inn.
As this year's event falls on May Day, our theme for 2016 is "the emergency services". Fancy dress, based on our theme, is strongly encouraged – irrespective of whether you're entering the Wormcharming competition or just spectating. The fancy dress competition is free to enter and there will be prizes for the best themed outfits.
Team names, again based on our theme, have always been inventive. This year - for the first time - a prize will be awarded for best team name. This will be awarded just before the asssembled crowd and competitiors set off to parade through the village - lead by the May princess and the Blackawton Morris dancers.
At The George Inn, the procession pauses fo rmore refreshment and to hear a May Day song performed by children from the village primary school and singing by the Blackawton community choir at the church lych gate. Finally, before setting off for the secret field, the Wormmaster and other Wormcharming officials invite everyone to 'Toast the Worm' with their drinks.
On arrival at the secret field our fancy dress judge will be looking for the winner as the teams jossle to find their Wormcharming plot and prepare for the competition itself. You can find more details on the competition itself on our "Wormcharming" competition" page.
After the Wormcharming competition and fancy dress winners are announced, a fun dog show gets underway in the secret field. Classes this year are: best fancy dress dog (emergency services), most beautiful eyed dog, fantastic furred dog, dog most like their handler, waggiest tailed dog, most interesting dog, best behaved dog, and best in show (only open to winners of previous categories). For people who would like to participate but who don't have a dog, there will be well behaved dogs to hire for each class! All dog handlers are reminded to be responsible by making sure that their dog is under control at all times and to clean up any doggy doings! There will be doggy drinking water available. There is an entry fee of £1 per dog per class and all entry fees will go to local charities.
Also, in the secret field, Emma will be offering donkey rides for the children.
The George Inn is hosting a Beer Festival and a full afternoon of live music from 1.45pm until 7.45pm. The full programme can be found here. Food will be available throughout the day. At 8pm (by which time it is expected that customers will have consumed sufficient to not care how much they bid) the pub will host an auction of select lots. This is always a big fund-raiser for our chosen charities and we urge you to empty your wallets at this event.
The Wormcharming 5-a-side football competition is scheduled to get underway at around 3pm in the village park. If you enjoy playing football please come and join in. Ability, age and gender is immaterial. Enter a complete team or as an individual we'll find a place for you in one of the mixed teams. It's just a bit of fun. But beware: the rules are as interpreted by the referee!!!
The Wormcharmer café will be operating at the Village Hall starting at 10am serving freshly baked scones, hot and cold drinks as well as cakes and biscuits, from midday soup and a roll will also be available. There will also be a small selection of 500 ml bottled beers and cider available. The café will be open until at least the end of the dog show. Blackawton Allotment Association will be running the café. For more information, click here.
Throughout the day, there will be stalls & street traders and other distractions throughout the village..
Timetable for the day
|From 11.00am||Gathering at The Normandy Arms.|
|11.30-12.00 noon||Ringing of St Michael's church bells.|
|11.45||Crowning of the May princess.|
|12.00 noon||Deadline for Wormcharming competition entry forms to be handed in to Worm HQ
(the village bus shelter).
The International Judges invite teams to sample their charming substances!!
|12.30||Announcement of team names & plots.
Announcement of winning team name.
|12.45||Parade to The George Inn led by the Blackawton May princess & the Blackawton Morris dancers.|
|13.00||May Day song performed by children from Blackawton primary school.
Singing by the Blackawton Community choir at the church lych gate.
Toast to the Worm.
|13.15||Parade to the Secret Field.|
|13.30||International Festival of Worm Charming competition.
Fancy dress competition winners are selected before/during the competition.
Announcement of winning programme.
After medals ceremony (approx 14.00)
|Dog show in the Secret Field.|
|13.45-19.45||Live music and alfresco food at The George Inn with Beer festival throughout the weekend.|
|15.00 (or thereabouts)||5-a-side football competition in the village park.|
|20.00||Auction at The George Inn.|