Revived in 1981, Sweeps Festival is a celebration of traditional Britain and Morris dancing which takes place over three days on the bank holiday weekend from Saturday 4th until Monday 6th May 2013 in the centre of Rochester, in Kent.
This year's event is a colourful mix of music, dancing and entertainment with more than 60 Morris sides and entertainers celebrating throughout the three-day festival.
Line-upThe first acts confirmed are The Singing Lions on Saturday, and Tim Edey who performs on Sunday.
TicketsEntry to the event is free but some activities such as donkey rides, seaside rides, face painting will have a small charge, and tickets for The Singing Lions or Tim Edey are priced at £10. All children entering the event must be accompanied by an adult.
Food and drinkLocal traders will be selling food and drink throughout the day, from traditional fish and chips to pasties and ice creams.
History400 years ago children were used as chimney sweeps. The pay was low, it was a dirty trade and there was little reward for the men who did the job and even less for children. The sweeps' holiday was traditionally held on 1 May each year. Locally, they used to mark the occasion by staging a procession through the streets of Rochester.
Medway's annual Sweeps Festival recreates this traditional holiday with events including the Jack-in-the-Green ceremony, a seven-foot character that they used to waken at dawn on Blue Bell Hill, Chatham. The Jack-in-the-Green would walk with the chimney sweeps in their parade. When the Climbing Boys' Act 1868 made it illegal to employ young boys to carry out the trade, the traditional procession gradually began to fade. The final May celebration was held in the early 1900s.
AccommodationThis event does not have camping but there are a number of hotels, hostels and guest houses in the area.
More information will be here when available.
latest on this festival
Sweeps Festival 2013
last updated: Mon 4th Mar 2013