Tuesday, November 08, 2022

Winter Droving 2022

Penrith, Cumbria. Saturday 29-October-2022.

Our sixth Winter Droving and it went pretty much according to expectation. Last year, they spread the event over three days in an attempt to thin the crowds and reduce the risk of Covid spreading. That wasn't really very successful, especially as on the Thursday it was tipping down with rain. This year they reverted to a single day event and that worked much better.

The full programme.

This modern festival celebrates the ancient custom of a bringing the sheep down from the high pastures for the winter, hence a major animal theme running through the parade. Everyone is encouraged to wear masks to add to the general jollity. I couldn't find last year's mask so I bought a new multi-coloured mask. We wandered around for a while checking out the stalls then had a lunch of street food; this year it was chicken curry from the Seychelles.

The drovers cup is one of the highlights of the afternoon between four local teams: 

  • relay race with trays of pints glasses
  • hay bales of hay relay race
  • mashed potato eating
  • tug of war
  • egg throwing (and catching)

The egg throwers were allocated three eggs per team and allowed as many throws as they could manage until all eggs were smashed. The team with the longest successful catch wins. There were some spectacular throws and catches, and also some quite spectacularly unsuccessful attempts resulting in egg splattered contestants.

There was music on the bandstand from the Lakeland Fiddlers.

The Melodrome hosted a variety of acts including the Punjabi Roots Academy who provided lessons and encouragement in Bangra dancing.

As usual there were stilt walkers.

For the children there was a full funfair including a traditional carousel.

Beer in Fell Bar until it was time for the lantern and musical parade.

Throughout the day and in the procession there were several marching bands all playing with great enthusiasm.


Another marching bands.

George and Sandra had some canine face masks from Covid times being photobombed by Mary wearing her usual mask, a gift from a friend. 

Stag, just one of many animals in the parade.

After the parade we went home for a buffet style, supper of hot nibbles and more beer and wine.

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