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Community Meeting Invites Ideas for Future of Big Day Out

Community Meeting Invites Ideas for Future of Baldrick’s Big Day Out

Ideas and public support is being sought to find a future for Stratford's Baldrick's Big Day Out.

Baldrick’s Big Day Out founder Ray Cleaver says it’s time to consider giving the event a refresh and hopes Stratford people and groups would come to the party to work out a new future for the much loved Elizabethan market day.

“It looks like it's time for a change and we hope to add other activities, maybe along Shakespearean lines," said Mr Cleaver.

A community meeting to discuss the future of Baldrick’s Big Day Out and the possibility of other Shakespearean style activities will be held on Wednesday 19 February 5:30pm at Stratford District Citizens and Services Club.

Anyone with ideas for activities and events, who would like to help coordinate events, or are simply interested and want to learn more, are encouraged to come along.

Mr Cleaver says, "We are hoping to get the Stratford Shakespeare Society, theatre groups, service clubs and schools behind some sort of event or festival, and need their ideas to find out what people want.”

"The public meeting on 19 February is a chance for people to share their thoughts. We are open to any ideas," says Mr Cleaver.

Stratford District Council is keen to see community driven Shakespearean related events succeed in Stratford. Director Community Services Kate Whareaitu says, “The adoption of the Shakespearean identity in 2019 will help to enable the community to build on existing Elizabethan elements within the town and to create new opportunities too.”

“We look forward to seeing what our community comes up with,” says Ms Whareaitu.

For more information or if you’d like to get involved with coordinating activities please contact Community Development Officer Peter Boyd on 06 765 6099 or email pboyd@stratford.govt.nz.

Baldrick’s Big Day Out was originally set up in the mid-1990s by Ray Cleaver as a nod to Stratford’s Shakespearean links. It was a major annual event for Stratford and over the years the format has evolved and been organised by a number of dedicated community members. More recently Baldrick’s Big Day Out has been held every two years in Victoria Park with stalls, jousters on horseback, pageantry and combat.

The Stratford Market Day Trust that is behind Baldrick’s Big Day Out exists to promote Stratford’s Elizabethan theme through a market day/festival that engages the wider community. In 2019 the trust decided that it was too limited in its capacity and resources to coordinate a successful event in time for 2020.

The trust instead want to consider the viability of running a large single day event, or support smaller festival style events over a longer period, and is asking the community for their help in moving this forward.


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