Hastings Jack in the Green: Everything you need to know

There is live music, dancing and drumming displays, and other events, across the entire bank holiday weekend, starting from Friday April 29.

This builds up to the big day on Monday May 2 when the Jack is released and leads a procession through the streets of the Old Town up to the West Hill green for an afternoon of festivities.

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Now in its 39th year, Hastings Jack in the Green is a revival of May Day customs that used to take place in Hastings and St Leonards in the 19th century, when the Jack was paraded through the streets by chimney sweeps.

Jack in the Green procession SUS-220425-141710001

People can expect to see colorful characters in the procession, including Morris dancers, drummers, chimney sweeps and giants.

The weekend unfolds with a traditional music and song session in the Stag pub, in All Saints Street, from 9pm on Friday April 29.

Saturday April 30, sees Morris dancing displays throughout the Old Town and seafront and a sing-around with local group Rattlebag, at The Stag at 2pm. There is a ceilidh dance taking place at St Mary in the Castle on Saturday at 7.30pm, with band The Pigeon Swing.

If you fancy an early start on Sunday May 1, there is a Dancing at dawn, with local Morris sides on the Ladies Parlour, West Hill, from 5am. A Morris Dancer’s church service takes place at All Saints Church, in the Old Town, on Sunday at 10am, followed by dancing on the Stade and around the Old Town from noon.

Jack in the Green SUS-220425-141720001

The Copper Family sings traditional Sussex folk songs are St Clements Church, High Street, on Sunday at 4pm, while drumming groups battle it out at Butlers Gap, George Street, from 4.30pm.

Local fiddle player and singer Garry Blakeley performs at St Clements Church at 7.30pm.

Monday May 2 sees the Jack being released from the Fishermen’s Museum in Rock-a-Nore Road, at 10.15am. Jack will then lead the colorful procession up All Saints Street, and down the High Street, where there will be a 45 minute break for street performances at 11.30am. The procession then moves up Croft Road to the West Hill where there is a food and craft fair and performances on a main stage.

The slaying of the Jack, to release the spirit of summer, takes place at around 4pm, when leaves will be handed out to people in the crowd to bring good luck.

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