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Straw Bear Festival to go ahead in 2021 - with a few changes

The Whittlesea Straw Bear Festival is going virtual for January 2021!
Straw Bear Festival
Straw Bear Festival 2021 cancelled (photo: Straw Bear Festival)

In June it was announced that the Whittlesea Straw Bear Festival would not be going ahead in 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic - but organisers have since come up with a way to make the experience work online.

From January 15 to 17, events will be broadcast on the festival's Facebook page and new YouTube channel, with some live events over Zoom. Zoom events must be registered for in advance.

A concert for the Friday night is planned, with Brown Boots, Granny's Attic, Tim Van Eyken and more confirmed.

On Saturday, January 16, the Mayoral address will kick things off at 10.30am. This will be followed by a session teaching how to build a straw bear, some live music, a storyteller session and a Zoom ceilidh (barn dance) at 7.30pm.

Sunday will have further song sessions, dancing and concerts, followed by the straw bear burning at 2.30pm.

Organisers were excited to announce the revised event, saying: "We’re putting together a programme of events that you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home. We guarantee that it will be warmer than the streets of Whittlesey!"

The Straw Bear Festival in Whittlesey was revived in 1980 as a way to bring the community together, but is born from a custom that dates back to at least 1882.