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Festival Programme

Sunday 19th May 2024

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.

This Year's May Queen is Freya Robinson from Slaidburn. 

Train Bearer is Emily Pinder

Crown Bearer is Charlie Guest

Sword Bearer is Louis Guest

Retinue are Lily Cowking, Lauren Lowther, Grace Ridgway and Lily Simpson

The Retiring May Queen is Jessica Bailey from Lane Ends

Train Bearer is Amelia Gawthorpe

The May Queen will be crowned by Mrs Ella Robinson


There are lots of activities to join ….

  • A competition to make a Olympic Torch (in any medium, maimum height 30 cm) to celebrate the up-coming Olympics.  Prizes for three age categories:

    • Infants up to 7 years old

    • Juniors 8 – 11 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 Olympic Torch.  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. 25 yards up to 4 years                   

  2. 40 yards 5,6,7 years                     

  3. 80 yards 8,9,10 years                     

  4. 80 yards 8,9,10 years                     

  5. 80 yards 11, 12 13 years     

  6. 80 yards 14, 15, 16 years              

  7. Sack race 7 years and under         

  8. Sack race 8, 9 & 10 years                     

  9. Sack race 11 years plus             

  10. Wheelbarrow 7 years & under         

  11. Wheelbarrow 8, 9 & 10 years               

  12. Wheelbarrow 11 years plus           

  13. Slow bike 16 years and under       

  14. Three legged 7 years and under    

  15. Three legged 8, 9 & 10 years              

  16. Three legged 11 years plus             

(Races are subject to change on the day)


Adults’ races – open to all 17 years plus

  1. Flat race                                         men

  2. Flat race                                         women

  3. Sack race                                       men

  4. Sack race                                       women                 

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