St George's Festival @ Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens
Our celebrations for St George’s Day on the historic Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, on the south bank of the river Thames, within a mile of Parliament are a fantastic day out for all the family.
The centrepiece of the Festival will be the fourth annual London Tournament. A host of international fighters from “Battle of the Nations” will congregate on the Queen Anne Field for a tourney of full contact medieval combat. Battle of the Nations hold a World Championships every year in different places around the globe. The UK team entered its first World Championships in 2013 at Aigues Mortes in France. They were followed on this trip by the BBC documentary “Knight Club”. Following last year’s festival, the British team in only their fifth World Championships came fourth in the 21 vs 21 mass battles category, beating the French on the way!
While the World Championships move cities every year, we hold a Tourney in the capital of the World to augment the schedule of this exhilarating, emerging spectator sport. The London Tournament takes place on St George’s weekend as a celebration of England’s Patron Saint.
Make no mistake, this is not re-enactment. There will be a full contact, armoured, singles competition where knights from around the globe will compete to be crowned the London Champion, an honour that will gain respect in all competitions for the fighter skilled enough to win. He will receive a trophy and a badge for his armour, signifying his status as London Champion in every battle he fights in the next twelve months.
We will also hold the St George Melee a team competition where teams from around the world will battle it out just a fortnight before this year’s World Championships. The crowds will roar at this exciting spectacle. And do not miss the carnage of the “Meat Grinder”, where it’s every man for himself, last man standing wins.
Surrounding the London Tournament will be a medieval fair with plenty to entertain the whole family. There will be Morris dancers, Punch & Judy, an ale and mead tent, falconry, archery for all the family and a hog roast, medieval folk music from Princes in the Tower, traditional crafts and an evening performance of St George and the Dragon from our wonderful troupe of fire dancers.
The Friends of Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens Dog show will take place on the Sunday afternoon at 2pm, so bring your best friend for a fun day out. Judged by local councillor David Amos.
We have a growing community expo as part of the festival featuring many local community organisations, the Police, Army and the Fire brigade are bringing a Fire Engine. We have representatives of a number of countries who celebrate St George. We are working with the British Georgian Society who are adding Georgian food and singers, felt craft and wine made by the oldest process in the world (8000 years). We have Russian Cossack singers and traditional ribbon crafts, Bulgarian Dancing and a host of international celebrations of St George.
This is the sixth year of the St George's festival on the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens. We have grown to take up two days, so that more traders, crafts people, performers and fighters can be involved. Come and join us, buy a wooden sword and relive a bygone era of chivalry.
This is going to be the greatest show on Earth!
The Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens St George’s Festival is proud to be sponsored by Tea House Theatre, Transcom Projects, The Black Dog, Vauxhall and Staybridge Suites.