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Hundreds turn out at winter wassail in Kidderminster

By Dayna Farrington | Kidderminster | Wyre Forest entertainment | Published:

Hundreds of people flocked to Bodenham Arboretum for a traditional winter wassailing event.

Wassail King and Queen Richard Fields and Jane Duncan scaring away evil spirits at the Winter Wassail at Bodenham Arboretum

The event took place at the popular arboretum in Wolverley, near Kidderminster, on Saturday.

A wassail is an age-old tradition of blessing the apple trees and wishing them good health for harvest.

James Binnian, owner and manager of Bodenham Arboretum, said: "We arranged for the free event as we have lots of trees here on site, so we thought the event would sit well. It is an old English tradition of scaring away evil spirits and waking up the trees for a good harvest.

Wassail King and Queen Richard Fields and Jane Duncan scaring away evil spirits at the Winter Wassail at Bodenham Arboretum

"It was performed around an apple tree in the arboretum. We have around 3,000 different trees and shrubs from all around the world here at Bodenham Arboretum.

"We had the Foxs Morris dancers performing here. They were dancing on the terrace and the audience were asked to participate.

"For the actual wassailing we had a king and queen picked from the audience. We sang old English songs, lots of people brought their own musical instruments and people were dressed up with ivy leaves.

Foxs Morris entertain the crowds at the Winter Wassail at Bodenham Arboretum

"As it was January we made it a free event – and we were inundated with people. It was very popular and we had around 300 to 400 people turn up. Everyone had a great time – it has been a lovely day."

Dayna Farrington

By Dayna Farrington
Senior reporter based at Wolverhampton

Reporter for the Express & Star based at Wolverhampton.

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