Hastings is preparing itself for its annual invasion of Morris dancers, as the annual ‘Jack in the Green’ festivities will be held over the May Day Bank Holiday weekend from Saturday May 2nd to Monday May 5th.
And on Monday these will be joined by tens of thousands of motorcyclists.
Chairman of the Jack in the Green organising committee Keith Leech MBE – who received his award for his community work – explained: “The ‘Jack in the Green’ is a man in a cage covered in leaves, and he dances and cavorts around the picturesque Old Town of Hastings on the May Day bank holiday Monday May 4th. This is followed by a colourful procession of Morris dancers, giants and people dressed in spring time fancy dress.
“The streets will be thronged with morris dancers, giants and colourful characters over the weekend as Hastings once again celebrates this now internationally famous annual May Day custom.
“The procession will move around the Old Town between 1000 and 1200, starting at the Fisherman’s museum in Rock-a-Nore Road, then go up All Saints Street and down High Street before going up a leafy lane (Croft Road) to the West Hill for the afternoon. Later in the afternoon leaves are distributed to onlookers for ‘good luck’.”
And also on the Bank Holiday Monday, up to 40 000 motorbikes are expected in town for the traditional May Day run to the coast, an event which has grown into one of the biggest motorcycle events in the country.
Kevin Boorman, head of communications & marketing at Hastings Borough Council, which supports both events, added: “Hastings is rightly famous for its events, and the May Day weekend is just brilliant.
“Jack-in-the-Green shows Hastings at its very best, all thanks to Keith and his committee of volunteers, who work hard all year long to put the weekend on.
“It’s great to see the town packed full of Morris dancers and, on the Bank Holiday Monday, up to 40 000 bikes and bikers too! The mix of bells and bikes is brilliant, and really does put us on the map: not many resorts can boast streets full of Morris dancers and massive motorbikes, and certainly not at the same time.”