Robin Hood Festival set to attract thousands

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ROBIN Hood’s Sherwood Forest home is again gearing up to welcome thousands of visitors to the annual festival celebrating Nottinghamshire’s legendary hero.

Nottinghamshire County Council’s five-day long extravaganza kicks off at Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve and Visitor Centre, near Edwinstowe, on Wednesday.

At 11am there will be a Grand Opening Ceremony in the Jousting Arena and Robin himself, alongside other members of the Festival cast, will be on hand to give visitors a taste of what they can see throughout the festival.

Headline events include medieval stunt group, Legends, which will once again be recreating the daring exploits of Robin’s outlaws and the Sheriff’s men with live action skirmishes, while the ever-popular jousting tournaments are taking place on Wednesday and next Saturday and Sunday.

Wednesday also sees shows from Ye Olde Redtail Falconry being performed.

The Festival programme offers something for everyone, ranging from open air theatre performances with the chance to take part, through to hands on activities and games, and three evening events – a ‘Twilight Tales’ walk next Thursday, with storyteller Nicky Rafferty and medieval musician Trevor James, two ‘Rhythms of Sherwood’ drumming workshops with Rhythmic Unity next Friday and the ever-popular ‘An Evening of Medieval Merriment’ next Saturday.

Other Festival highlights include ‘The Sheriff’s Treasure Hunt’ on next Thursday, ‘Marian’s Missing’- a new event for 2011- next Friday and ‘The Silver Arrow Challenge’ – an archery contest for budding Robin Hoods and Maid Marians underneath the Major Oak next Sunday.

Archery, ancient crafts and medieval-themed entertainment will feature throughout the event.

Entry to the festival is free and parking costs £5 per car.

Coaches and mini-buses with a minimum of 12 seats are admitted free.