Timeline of events for Shakespeare's birthday

Timeline of events for Shakespeare’s birthday

Here’s the timeline of events for Shakespeare’s birthday in Stratford-upon-Avon.

*The fantastic birthday celebrations are over for 2018. Come back soon to find out the exact date and timeline of events for 2019’s big birthday party for the Bard. Here are a few highlights from April 2018.*


The main parade, parties and activities take place on Saturday April 21, but there is much to see and do over the weekend in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Find out more about the Shakespeare birthday celebrations here.

Timeline of events for Shakespeare’s birthday in Stratford-upon-Avon

Friday April 20

4pm-5pm: Shakespeare Birthday Lecture at The Shakespeare Centre with Jane Lapotaire and Dr Paul Edmondson

8.30pm-10.30pm: Living Statues competition begins on Waterside and in Bancroft Gardens

Saturday April 21

10.15am: Shakespeare Birthday Parade begins in Waterside. The parade route includes Bridge Street and High Street, ending at Holy Trinity Church

10.58am: a fanfare in Bridge Street marks the unfurling of the Union Flag, followed by others in High Street and Henley Street. The national anthem follows

11.02am: the birthday cake arrives as the band plays ‘Happy Birthday’ and confetti cannons fire

11.10am: the Literary Community Carnival Pageant begins in Bridge Street

11.45am: pageant winner announced

12.15pm: participants lay flowers on Shakespeare’s grave at Holy Trinity Church, marking the end of the parade

2pm: the weekly Shakespeare Walking Tour begins at Tudor World

10am-4pm: day-long activities on Henley Street including balloon sculpting, a Victorian circus skills workshop, and traditional dancing

10am-5pm: market village on the Recreation Ground, with stalls, a fun fair, carousel, soft play area, live music and performances, and a Punch and Judy show

12–4pm: Knights & Nymphs Children’s Garden Party at Hall’s Croft

11.30am-late: festivities in Stratford-upon-Avon throughout the day

12-4pm: RSC actors reading poetry on the chain ferry (50p per crossing)

12-3.45pm: various free demos of theatre skills by the RSC at The Other Place

5-6pm: Apples and Snakes present: SPIN at The Other Place, for children aged 7-11

Sunday April 22

10am-11.15am: a civic reception is held before the 10.50am procession from the Town Hall to Holy Trinity Church, past Shakespeare’s New Place

11.15am-12.30pm: Shakespeare Service at Holy Trinity Church

10am-5pm: market village on the Recreation Ground

4pm: the winner of the Living Statues competition is announced.


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Information correct at date of publication