CHILDREN around the town will be drawing out their swords and slaying dragons today to celebrate St George’s Day, the patron saint of England.

In the town centre today a 20ft-high St George, kitted out in chain-linked armour featuring the English flag, will parade from the town hall down Regent Street and along Canal Walk before pitching up in Wharf Green.

From 11am the great English giant will lead a procession of more than 100 children from Robert Le Kyng Primary School and Drove Primary School as well as others through the town, who will be singing a special St George’s day song written by local band Ethemia.

Rebecca Rowland, BID Manager at inSwindon, said: “St George’s Day is something that’s probably not celebrated as much as other saints like St Patrick and four or five years ago in Swindon we started celebrating St George’s Day and it’s just become a bit of a tradition.

“It’s also a good opportunity to celebrate what it means to be English.

“It should be quite a good day if the weather is okay.”

After the procession the children will then take part in a number of different activities which they will rotate during the day.

There will be four different stations where youngsters can take part in arts and crafts, sport and dance and there will also be a lunch station.

Children will be able to make clay dragons with the help of No Added Sugar, and there will be an activity zone led by Swindon Leisure services.

The third station will be led by Swindon Dance and Folk Dance Remixed, who will be teaching children how to break dance around a May Pole.

The day will finish with a dance performance by the children.

Meanwhile, at Holy Rood Catholic Junior School in Old Town, pupils will be dressing up in the colours of the George Cross – red and white – and taking part in a Shakespeare workshop led by the Sky Blue Theatre Company.

Holy Rood headteacher Tony McAteer said: “We’re celebrating this as one of our international days. We have several international days through the course of the year and today is England.

“We’re also having a themed meal of fish and chips and cone which hopefully we will be eating as a picnic in the playground if the weather is good.

“I think it’s very important to celebrate St George’s Day because it helps the children to appreciate their identity. We also celebrate all the patron saints including St Patrick’s Day and St David’s Day and St Andrew’s day so it’s important we celebrate St George’s Day as well.”

Meanwhile, Coate Water Miniature Railway will be running for the first time on St George’s Day from 4pm until dusk, weather and volunteers permitting. Each ride will cost £1 for any age.

  • Free pint for St George’s Day – See P15