1,400 school children gather for festival of folk dancing
More than 1,400 primary school children will come together on Wells Cathedral Green to dance the day away as part of the annual Folk Dance Festival on Saturday.
Now in its 38th year, the Somerset Schools' Folk Dance Festival has more than 70 schools participating and will run from 2.30pm to 4.30pm.
David Hayward, executive and liaison officer for the Somerset Association of Primary Headteachers and Officers (SAPHTO) and organiser of the event, said: "We're grateful for all the time and effort so many people put in to make this event happen every year, especially the Globe Carnival Club. And a big thank you to our sponsors Milsted Langdon Financial Planning.
"When it all comes together, and we see the joy and excitement on all the children's faces when they are dancing, and witness the pride of all the parents and families watching, it makes it all so worthwhile."
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The pupils will be dressed in their specially-designed costumes and each school will be represented by its own banner.
Accompanied by the Mayor of Wells and the city Mace Bearer, teachers and helpers, the folk dancers' procession will start at St Cuthbert's Church at 2pm, proceed up Wells' High Street, entering the Green through Browne's Gate, and down the path to each school's designated place.
Councillor John Osman, leader of Somerset County Council, said: "This is a wonderful event for our local primary school children to take part in and remember. To see so many children dancing together in what must be the largest gathering of its kind in the South West is really amazing.
"I know the children and teachers spend weeks preparing. It's a great example of the skills our schools are trying to encourage like teamwork, more physical activity and giving pupils the confidence to perform in front of an audience.
"But most importantly, the children seem to really enjoy it and have fun."