Rochester will celebrate the 40th Sweeps Festival next month after a two-year delay

Residents of the Medway have missed out on the wonderful Sweeps Festival in recent years. Next month, Rochester Castle and the surrounding streets will come alive with history and culture as the city can finally celebrate the 40th Sweeps Festival.

Typically, the festivities take place every year, but the recent pandemic has delayed celebrations of this historic event from 2020 to this year. Medway Council will make up for this with a truly wonderful celebration open to residents and visitors.

Starting Saturday, April 30, the three-day event will continue through Monday, April 2, bringing lots of music, dancing, and more to the Rochester area. If you’ve never been to a Sweeps Festival, this is definitely not an event to miss, so be sure to keep the date open.

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What is the Sweeps Festival?

The event is a truly unique experience

The festival is a celebration of the arrival of spring, and since May 1st was the traditional Chimney Sweeps Day, the two occasions have been combined into one wonderful festival for all to enjoy. When you go expect to see lots of Morris dancing and listening to music throughout the weekend as the high street will come alive with dancers in traditional chimney sweep attire as they make their way through the town .

The event has become one of the largest of its kind in the world. In the castle grounds there is usually a funfair to enjoy as well as live music performances and plenty of places to grab a bite to drink.

The festival started in Rochester in 1981 and has been popular ever since, attracting visitors from all over to come and take part.

Sweeps Party 2022

The Sweeps Festival usually marks the start of spring

As mentioned, this will be the 40th festival of its kind and will run from Saturday April 30 to Monday April 2. After two years of absence, there will be enough to get involved this year.

The usual celebrations and dancing will of course take place alongside many other things. On Saturday, the Mayor of Medway will officially open the festival followed by a dance showcase.

There will be walking tours through historic Rochester as well as instrumental sessions for children. Inside Rochester Cathedral you’ll find The Leaves of the Tree art exhibit presented by Peter Walker which serves as a reflective memorial to the coronavirus pandemic.

In the castle grounds you will also find plenty of stalls selling vegan food, beauty, wellness products and more. Those wishing to attend should note that parking is limited and visitors are encouraged to take the bus or train where they can.

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