An evening of rural revelry at Cotswold Olimpicks
By David Wood
Where: Dover's Hill, near Chipping Campden
When: Friday, May 31,
Tomorrow (Friday) brings the 407th anniversary of the Cotswold Olimpicks. A truly unique occasion in England's Spring/Summer calendar, the Robert Dover's Olimpick Games was a genuine pre-cursor to the modern Olympic Games.
The Olimpicks will feature rural sports, including the world-famous Shinkicking Championship and The King of The Hill, loads of different music, lots of fighting of various types, modern and traditional dance, and street food to keep you going as well as some lovely limited edition merchandise.
The traditional games are followed by the firework finale, the lighting of the beacon and the torchlit parade down into Chipping Campden when Uncle Funk & The Boogie Wonderband will play the evening out.
In 2012, we celebrated the 400th anniversary of what are now often called the Cotswold Olimpicks.
As part of their successful bid for the London 2012 Games, the British Olympic Association stated: "An Olympic Games held in London in 2012 will mark a unique anniversary - it will be exactly 400 years from the moment that the
first stirrings of Britain's Olympic beginnings can be identified.
"...this was the pre-dawn of the Olympic Movement, and the Cotswold Games began the historical thread in Britain that was ultimately to lead to the creation of the modern Olympics."
The running races have been reinstated this year for the first time in a while. There will be a one-mile run which is generally suitable for all (a good one for families to try together) and a three-mile run for the more experienced runner. It's hoped there will be a shorter 500m sprint too.
Entry to the games is £7 adults £3 children. No dogs or alcohol are allowed on the hill, though both are allowed in The Square.
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