Go mad for March Hare Festival launched in Cirencester

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: The Fleece staff members Dan Dodson and Emily Jones with Woolly Jumper by Laurie Plant The Fleece staff members Dan Dodson and Emily Jones with Woolly Jumper by Laurie Plant

RARE hares took centre stage in Cirencester at the weekend as an eye-catching festival bounded into town.

The atmosphere was electric as crowds of visitors bustled around the town centre on Saturday for the launch of the Cirencester March Hare Festival.

Months in the planning, the festival, which will run throughout the summer, will aim to boost the profile of the town, encourage visitors to discover some of Cirencester’s hidden shopping areas and raise money for wildlife projects in the area.

It was launched outside the Parish Church by celebrity designer and Siddington resident Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen who had put his own creative energies into designing Hare – quickly dubbed the Boudoir Bunny.

“This is a wonderful occasion which is very much putting Cirencester on the map,” he said.

“The hare is very important to Cirencester as it’s a symbol of the Corinium. It’s such a lovely idea that the hares are coming back to the town.”

Each of the model hares, on display around the town and surrounding areas, has been transformed into individual works of art.

Part of the festival is the Hare Trail – a map of where hare spotters can find the elusive yet gaudily painted creatures.

Festival organiser Florence Beetlestone said: “This is such a wonderful thing for the town. People have come from far and wide today.”

Big names of Cirencester felt they could not miss out on the fun of a new festival and leapt straight into Saturday's celebrations.

As well as Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen and his family, Lord and Countess Bathurst also made a special appearance, as did Lord Lieutenant for Gloucestershire Dame Janet Trotter and mayor of Cirencester Joe Harris.

“This festival is a real symbol of just how much higher Cirencester punches above its weight,” said Laurence. “Cirencester is a small community but it’s still up there with the big players.”

"It really does feel like the first day of spring today,” added Laurence. “There are hares everywhere and it brings a tremendous sense of vibrancy to the town.”

Laurence’s hare, Boudoir Bunny, was designed to be a symbol of Venus. The designer himself drew each detailed design by hand before transferring it onto the model.

Mayor of Cirencester Joe Harris said the hare festival was a fantastic occasion.

“It’s great to see so many dignitaries and famous faces here today. It’s absolutely packed in town,” he said.

Countess Bathurst received the honour of cutting the huge hare cake made by Cotswold Finest Cakes.

“I think this festival is something really positive for Cirencester,” she said. “This is an extraordinary cake and I feel thrilled to cut it. It’s absolutely amazing how the icing is even coloured in different shades, just like a hare.”

Resident Clare Pywell went along to the festival launch with her 11-year-old daughter Ella.

“I think it's a really great idea. It’s such a buzz,” said Clare. “We were actually planning to go to the NEC in Birmingham today but I saw the weather and thought about the hare festival and decided I wanted to be in Cirencester.”

Clare’s daughter Ella said she was looking forward to seeing which hares she could find around town.

Comments (5)

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7:11am Mon 7 Apr 14

Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum says...

I do wonder what colour the sky is in LLB little world.

As discussed elsewhere, Cirencester is dying on its feet ... a township becoming a satellite domicile, fit only for OAP's and people working elsewhere.

It desperately needs a makeover and money spent in the correct places ,,,,,,,,

I despair.
I do wonder what colour the sky is in LLB little world. As discussed elsewhere, Cirencester is dying on its feet ... a township becoming a satellite domicile, fit only for OAP's and people working elsewhere. It desperately needs a makeover and money spent in the correct places ,,,,,,,, I despair. Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum
  • Score: 0

8:30pm Wed 9 Apr 14

Scissorhands says...

Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum wrote:
I do wonder what colour the sky is in LLB little world.

As discussed elsewhere, Cirencester is dying on its feet ... a township becoming a satellite domicile, fit only for OAP's and people working elsewhere.

It desperately needs a makeover and money spent in the correct places ,,,,,,,,

I despair.
What planet are you on???? I am so fed up with the negative comments my fellow commenters keep making on here!!! No one has anything nice to say!!
[quote][p][bold]Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum[/bold] wrote: I do wonder what colour the sky is in LLB little world. As discussed elsewhere, Cirencester is dying on its feet ... a township becoming a satellite domicile, fit only for OAP's and people working elsewhere. It desperately needs a makeover and money spent in the correct places ,,,,,,,, I despair.[/p][/quote]What planet are you on???? I am so fed up with the negative comments my fellow commenters keep making on here!!! No one has anything nice to say!! Scissorhands
  • Score: -1

7:21am Thu 10 Apr 14

Col Mustard says...

There is always the forthcoming Tesco Aldi punch up to look forward to Zzzzzzzzzz!

Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen a "Big Name" oh please....this is perhaps an indication of the problem that Cirencester has....
There is always the forthcoming Tesco Aldi punch up to look forward to Zzzzzzzzzz! Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen a "Big Name" oh please....this is perhaps an indication of the problem that Cirencester has.... Col Mustard
  • Score: 1

12:46pm Thu 10 Apr 14

Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum says...

Scissorhands wrote:
Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum wrote:
I do wonder what colour the sky is in LLB little world.

As discussed elsewhere, Cirencester is dying on its feet ... a township becoming a satellite domicile, fit only for OAP's and people working elsewhere.

It desperately needs a makeover and money spent in the correct places ,,,,,,,,

I despair.
What planet are you on???? I am so fed up with the negative comments my fellow commenters keep making on here!!! No one has anything nice to say!!
SH ... take a step back and look at the town as a whole.

The transport infrastructure.
The empty shops
The public travel services
The areas of deprivation, (watermoor, chesterton, beeches)
The employment opportunities (admin only)
The lack of manufacturing companies
The Hospital doubling as an old person home
The corrupt CDC
The inept CTC

I could go on.

The town and the area as a whole requires regeneration
[quote][p][bold]Scissorhands[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum[/bold] wrote: I do wonder what colour the sky is in LLB little world. As discussed elsewhere, Cirencester is dying on its feet ... a township becoming a satellite domicile, fit only for OAP's and people working elsewhere. It desperately needs a makeover and money spent in the correct places ,,,,,,,, I despair.[/p][/quote]What planet are you on???? I am so fed up with the negative comments my fellow commenters keep making on here!!! No one has anything nice to say!![/p][/quote]SH ... take a step back and look at the town as a whole. The transport infrastructure. The empty shops The public travel services The areas of deprivation, (watermoor, chesterton, beeches) The employment opportunities (admin only) The lack of manufacturing companies The Hospital doubling as an old person home The corrupt CDC The inept CTC I could go on. The town and the area as a whole requires regeneration Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum
  • Score: 1

1:56pm Fri 11 Apr 14

Moany Groan says...

I read the article and thought: "Great! Sounds like fun and something different for a change." I read the comments and thought: Vindictive little folk who are only interested in complaining. Even if there is a lot wrong with the town, why not celebrate the small things? Alternatively, leave and go elsewhere. You won't be missed!
I read the article and thought: "Great! Sounds like fun and something different for a change." I read the comments and thought: Vindictive little folk who are only interested in complaining. Even if there is a lot wrong with the town, why not celebrate the small things? Alternatively, leave and go elsewhere. You won't be missed! Moany Groan
  • Score: 1

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