This is Nottingham
KNIGHTS on horseback will ride through the city centre today as Nottingham celebrates St George's Day.
A parade will set out from The Forest recreation ground and performers in medieval-style garb will make their way to the Old Market Square.
Meanwhile, the bells will chime in celebration of the day at more than 25 Notts churches.
The parade, which will arrive in the square from 12.30pm, will feature marching bands and St George himself riding through the streets.
There will also be morris dancing and traditional English folk songs performed throughout the afternoon.
The parade had been organised by the Radford branch of the Royal Society of St George, whose members have helped organise parades in the city centre for several years.
Phil Harwood, secretary of the branch, is urging people to line the streets along the route and help make the day a real cause for celebration.
He said: "We wanted to do something for the city, for the people of Nottingham and for the East Midlands.
"It's great seeing everyone on the day coming together and having a great time. Seeing the parade and seeing all the people around you enjoying themselves is fantastic."
Throughout Notts, church bells will toll to mark St George's Day, which is the traditionally accepted date of the patron saint's death in AD303.
Churches in Barton-in-Fabis, Bingham, Bulwell, Bunny, Clarborough, Clifton, East Leake, Farnsfield, Granby, Gedling, Greasley, Holme Pierrepont, Keyworth, North Collingham, Papplewick, Radcliffe-on-Trent, Thurgaton, Thrumptom, Watton, Wollaton, Woodborough and Winthorpe are taking part.
Peter Haywood, of St Mary's, in Clifton, said that St George should be honoured with the same reverence as St Patrick or St David. He said: "I think it's important. We don't do enough for our patron saint.
"I think we ought to have a bank holiday and street parties, make it a social get-together where we meet our neighbours."
St George's Day has been steadily growing in popularity over the past few years. A survey in 2013 found that nearly three-quarters of British people wanted St George's Day to become a national bank holiday.
On Saturday, around 1,000 Scouts paraded through Nottingham city centre in their own annual tribute ahead of today's events.
7th Nottingham Cub Scout leader Elaine Eley said: "It went very well and everyone got into the spirit of it. We should all celebrate this day. It's an important part of our heritage." It was one of several events happening across the county to mark the occasion. Church bells rang out at over 20 churches throughout the county. The Willowbrook pub in Gedling, which also opened today, served a host of St George's day treats with a host of English treats and delicacies. General manager Pete Hopwell said: "We did our best to get St George's flag cocktail sticks but couldn't find any sadly. "I think we should celebrate it more, we ought to be more patriotic." However, the city centre parade was by far the most prominent. Supporters of all ages from toddlers to the elderly came out to show their colours. Although lively chanting echoed through the streets, the spirit was jovial and friendly throughout. Builder Stewart Dabell, 55, of Gotham took the day off especially so he could join the parade. He said: "I just wanted to come and see what's happening. "It's been great, I love all of it, the atmosphere is fantastic." Bartender Pam Staples, 40, of Southwold Drive, Radford brought her two English bulldogs, Maddie and George, dressed up in St George crosses. She said: "We come here every year, I've been going for the past eight years. "We're all English, and I think we ought to celebrate. They have a great time too." Floor layer Tony Trendowicz, 51, from Bridgford said people should no longer be ashamed to embrace their English heritage. He said: "I'm half Polish and my dad fought in the Battle of Britain. "We wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for people like him. It takes a lot of people to make this country great and everyone should be included. "I'm proud to be English."
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