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Festival Programme

Sunday 15th May 2022

The May Queen Festival is an annual event held in May in Slaidburn, on the Village Green by the banks of the River Hodder, and in the Village Hall.


The Festival is steeped in tradition and is the opportunity for each of the villages in the Hodder Valley to take it in turn to select a May Queen and their retinue from the primary school children. The first May Queen Festival was held in 1931.


Today, the Festival continues to maintain many of its traditional beginnings. The day begins with a church service at St Andrew’s Church, with resident year 6 primary school children of Brennand’s and Thorneyholme schools being awarded a dictionary to mark their imminent move to secondary school and all primary school children receiving a monetary gift from the Slaidburn Estate.


The church service is then followed by a procession through the village led by the Slaidburn Silver Band.


Festivities continue with entertainment provided by local primary school Maypole dancers, children’s 5-a-side football tournament, children’s and adult’s races, and egg catching.


There are lots of activities to join ….

  • A competition to make a portrait of the Queen (in any medium, A4 size) to celebrate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.  Prizes for three age categories:

    • Infants up to 7 years old

    • Juniors 8 – 10 years old

    • Secondary 11 – 16 years old

  •  5-a-side children’s football tournament.

  • Mini sports races for all ages with generous money prizes for all children placed first, second and third.


There are …….

Traditional homemade teas

Delicious homemade traditional teas are served all afternoon, following the Crowning of the May Queen.


Music is provided…..

Our very own Slaidburn Silver band provides rousing music for your entertainment.


Licensed bar…..

Is serving drinks following the crowning of the May Queen.


Come and join in the fun!

Please come and support us and join in the activities, to ensure we keep this tradition alive.

Entry is free and all play group children who attend Dunsop Bridge Play Group, and primary school children who attend Brennand's Endowed or Thorneyholme Primary School receive a free lunch.


Full Programme of the Festival


12.30 pm - Festival Service in St Andrew’s Church followed by a Procession through Slaidburn led by the Slaidburn Silver Band.


1.45 pm - Crowning of the May Queen (this will be held in the Church, if raining, at 1.15pm).


From 2 p.m

  • Judging of the portrait of the Queen.  Prizes in all 3 categories:

       1st £5; 2nd: £3, 3rd: £2.50.

  • Maypole dancing.

  • 5-a-side children’s Football tournament.

       Trophies for winning team and medals for runners up.


From about 3 p.m

  • Children’s races (see programme overleaf)

 Prizes – 1st £2; 2nd £1.50 and 3rd £1.00


Followed by

  • Adult races (see programme overleaf)

      A minimum of 5 entrants is required to hold each race

  • Egg catching (entry fee 20p).Winning team receives all entry monies


Children’s races – open to all

  1. 40 yards 5,6,7 years                       boys

  2. 40 yards 5,6,7 years                       girls

  3. 25 yards up to 4 years                    boys

  4. 25 yards up to 4 years                    girls

  5. 80 yards 8,9,10 years                     boys

  6. 80 yards 8,9,10 years                     girls

  7. 80 yards 11, 12 13 years                boys

  8. 80 yards 11,12,13 years                 girls

  9. 80 yards 14, 15, 16 years               boys

  10. 80 yards 14, 15, 16 years               girls

  11. Sack race 7 years and under          boys

  12. Sack race 7 years and under          girls

  13. Sack race 8 & 9 years                     boys

  14. Sack race 8 & 9 years                     girls

  15. Sack race 10 & 11 years                  boys

  16. Sack race 10 & 11 years                 girls

  17. Sack race 12 years plus                  boys

  18. Sack race 12 years plus                  girls

  19. Wheelbarrow 7 years & under         open 

  20. Wheelbarrow 8 & 9 years                open 

  21. Wheelbarrow 10 & 11 years            open

  22. Wheelbarrow 12 years plus            open

  23. Slow bike 16 years and under        open

  24. Three legged 7 years and under     open

  25. Three legged 8 & 9 years                open

  26. Three legged 10 & 11 years            open

  27. Three legged 12 years plus             open


Adults’ races – open to all 17 years plus

  1. Flat race                                         men

  2. Flat race                                         women

  3. Slaidburn Silver Band race            open

  4. Sack race                                       men

  5. Sack race                                       women 

  6. Riverbank Tea Rooms race            open                    

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