Welcoming summer in true Hastings style

The Grand Procession. Photograph by Frank Copper
The Grand Procession. Photograph by Frank Copper

The Annual Jack in the Green festival runs throughout the bank holiday weekend from May 3 to 6, during which time Hastings is sure to be awash with one colour: green.

It culminates in the now famous procession and symbolic slaying of Jack on bank holiday Monday, releasing the spirit of summer.

Tonight (May 3) the festival opens with a local band Jiggery Pokery, at St Mary-in-the-Castle, Pelham Place, 8pm.

Admission is £5 (£2 children).

On Saturday (May 4) there will be morris dancing all around town from noon to 4pm, including host sides, Mad Jacks Morris and Hannah’s Cat.

The Big Saturday Night Ceilidh with The Sugar Loaf Band, is at St Mary-in-the-Castle at 8pm. Admission is £9 (£4 for children). Visit www.sugarloafband.co.uk.

Sunday (May 5) will begin with the festival celebration church service at Saint Clements Church, in High Street, at 10am.

The service will be followed by Morris dancing outside the church from 11.15am, and around town until 4pm.

One of the most iconic May day activities, the Crowning of the May Queen, will take place in its original location at the bandstand in Alexandra Park from 2pm to 4pm.

The garland competition was the most widespread May Day activity in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Individual and school/groups are invited to take part in the competition. For an information pack or how to get involved visit the website or contact Bryony Leech atbryonyis@hotmail.com.

This will be held at Alexandra Park bandstand at 2:00pm.

The Copper Family of Rottingdean will perform traditional Sussex songs at St Mary-in-the-Castle, Pelham Place, at 4pm.

Admission is £5. Visit www.thecopperfamily.com.

In the atmospheric All Saints Church, Zephyrus, the English bagpipe orchestra, play a spectacular concert of English bagpipe music. The concert starts at 8pm. Admission £9 (£4 for children).

visit www.zephyrusmusic.co.uk.

In the evening, a ceilidh with Panjandrum will be held at St Mary-in-the-Castle from 8pm.

Admission is £9 (£4 for children). Visit www.panjandrumband.co.uk.

The big day is bank holiday Monday (May 6). The Grand Procession starts at 10am at the Fishermen’s Museum, down All Saints Street, across the Bourne, High Street, Swan Terrace, Croft Road, Collier Road, Priory Road, and arriving at the festival site on the West Hill at 12.30pm, where the Bogies drum the procession in.

There will be Morris dancing on the West Hill from 12.45pm, a craft fayre, food stalls and licensed bar.

The ceremonial Slaying of the Jack, will be at around 3.30pm, before festivities are brought to a close at 4.30pm.

For full details visit www.hastingsjack.co.uk.