Saturday 1st April 2017 marks exactly 20 years since Rutland regained its status as an independent county, having been a district of Leicestershire from 1974 until 1997.
Rutland returned to independence only after a long-running campaign by local councillors, residents and communities, and Oakham Castle will host a fantastic day of celebrations on 1st April in recognition of what is a historic milestone.
Rutland’s 20th Anniversary Celebrations will begin at 9am with a children’s fun run at Rutland Showground, raising money in aid of local charity For Rutland.
A short civic ceremony will then take place at Oakham Castle, followed by music, entertainment, displays, exhibitions at both the Castle and Victoria Hall and much more.
From 11am to 4.30pm on Saturday, the Great Hall at Oakham Castle will be the venue for a series of dance, music and theatre performances from local groups, including the Rutland Saxophone Choir, Rutland Concert Band, Stamford Shakespeare Company, Uppingham Jazz and Soul Band, Rutland Music Hub and Helen King.
Throughout the day, the grounds of Oakham Castle will hold displays by Armed Forces regiments based at St Georges Barracks and Kendrew Barracks. This includes 1st Military Working Dogs who will be carrying out drills and offering dog owners the chance to test their own pooch’s search skills. A full corps of army drummers from The Princess of Wales Royal Regiment will also be performing, ahead of the Regiment’s move from Cyprus to Rutland in the summer.
There will be food and drink at the Castle, including the special 20th Anniversary beer ‘Raddlemen’ produced by The Grainstore Brewery in Oakham to mark the occasion.
At 7pm Rutland Choral Society will hold a special celebratory concert at All Saints Church. Tickets for concert, called ‘All in an April Evening’, cost £8 and can be bought on the door or online at wegottickets.com. For more information, please go to rutlandchoralsociety.org.uk.
Later in the evening, Rutland’s 20th Anniversary Celebrations will draw to an end with ceremonial beacon lighting in Cutts Close Park at 9pm, followed by a free family fireworks display.
Councillor Kenneth Bool, Chairman of Rutland County Council, said: “Anyone who can remember the campaign to regain independence will know just how difficult it was and how hard local people fought for the change. That was 20 years ago and as well as being a significant milestone this anniversary is a wonderful opportunity to pause, look back and celebrate everything that’s great about living in Rutland. There’s going to be lots taking place in and around Oakham on April 1st, with something for everyone. We hope as many people as possible will join for what is sure to be a fantastic day and help us to make this a truly special occasion for Rutland.”
For further details about Rutland’s 20th Anniversary Celebrations please visit: www.rutland.gov.uk
Anyone wanting to take part in the For Rutland charity fun run can find out more about how to register by visiting: www.forrutland.org.uk
Share what you love about living in Rutland by submitting a short video for Rutland’s 20th anniversary film exhibition. Find out more by visiting: www.oakhamcastle.org/rutlandfilms