Record crowds at the 2009 Festival
Asparamania hit the Vale of Evesham over the Bank Holiday with record crowds attending Asparagus events at The Fleece Inn at Bretforton.
On Sunday evening, for the first time in three years, the sun shone - bidders came from far and wide, and the world famous Asparagus Auction in aid of the villages' Band was held in the courtyard of this NT pub.
Throughout the evening the Pebworth Morris Dancers and the Bretforton Silver Band delighted the gathered crowds and bundles of the Vales' finest "Gras" were proudly sold by local auctioneer Colin Jelfs for record amounts
Asparamadness continued at The Fleece with Festival Day on Bank Holiday Monday - thousands of people flocked to this delightful village pub for a fun day out for all the family. Many recognisable faces met visitors as they enjoyed a plethora of asparagus related activities, including Christine Walkden, resident Gardening Guru from the popular BBC weekday programme "The One Show" who were filming at the Festival for a special Vale Asparagus feature that will be aired week commencing 1st June
Local celebrity and great friend of the Festival - Henry Sandon opened the days celebrations and also hosted his own very popular Roadshow throughout the afternoon.
Asparagus cookery demonstrations were performed by The Food Genie to packed marquees Jemima Packington - the Worlds only Asparamancer delighted young and old as she pronounced their destinies from the fall of the spears!!! Gus - the Asparagus Man and the adorable Hook Norton Horses were as popular as ever and overjoyed hundreds of people who posed for photographs with them all.
Nigel Smith - Landlord of the Fleece Inn said "We have had an incredible weekend - with all the National and International interest that Vale Asparagus has pioneered in recent months, people have came from all over the World especially for the Festival and I'm confident they have left very happy. We were so fortunate that the weather was kind to us, and the atmosphere that surrounded the Fleece this weekend was one of fun, laughter and packed with entertainment, tradition, arts & crafts, local ales, ciders, wines and of course most important of all, and what they all came for - local Asparagus................."
An Ode to Asparagus’
by Trevor Harrison aka Eddie Grundy from "The Archers"
You make no sound, you make no fuss,
The Vale of Evesham puts the "spear" into Shakespeare!
Worcestershires' Vale of Evesham celebrated St Georges' Day in style with the great and the good from across the county congregating beneath the towns inconic Bell Tower. Not only does the 23rd April celebrate our Patron Saint, it also signifies the start of the English Asparagus Season and the beginning of the British Asparagus Festival in the Vale of Evesham.
Launching the two month long Festival , the Great English Asparagus Run
Comprising of three Morgan Motor Cars who were carrying some very important passengers..... the Lord Lieutenant of Worcestershire; Mr Michael Brinton, his wife Angela and the "100" round of fine Vale Asparagus (the first outdoor cut of the season from Birlingham Nurseries, nr Pershore) and a group of runners from the Evesham Vale Running Club carrying their "Asparatorches" made their way to nearby Stratford on Avon where the Lord Lieutenant and the Mayor of Evesham Cllr Alan Booth, presented the "Round of Gras" to Cllr Mrs Joyce Taylor, Mayor of Stratford in honour of the Shakespeare birthday celebrations.
Back in Evesham - Asparamania had really hit town ....... St George, Gus the Asparagus man, along with Jemima Packington - the worlds' only Asparamancer and crowds of asparamad wellwishers were enjoying not only music of the Avonbank Band, Morris Dancing with the Pebworth Morris
Patriotic songs by local artist Bruno Gallone and the premier performance of "The Ode to Asparagus" by Trevor Harrison - better known to addicts as Eddie Grundy from the ever popular long unning BBC radio series The Archers.
They were also having their tastebuds tickled by the new Vale Porker - an Asparagus sausage made by Abbey Butchers from Pershore and Asparagus Scones and Jam made by Wayside Farm Shop from Wickhamford.
Hairy Bikers drop in
The Hairy Bikers dropped into Revills Farm Shop at Defford to film for a new series due to be aired later this year. Revills being one of the few places in the Country where you can buy the rare purple variety of asparagus - this was the ideal location for the guys to film.
Filming took place at the Farmshop and in the asparagus fields where Si and Dave used asparabuggies to cut the "Gras"
The idea behind the programme is to film from the field to the plate and the Bikers later filmed at Belle House in Pershore
Links and further details of all events can be found in the Programme section of this website
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