Shakespeare's Birthday Parade (April)
Every year a unique event takes place in Stratford-upon- Avon to mark the birth of the world’s greatest playwright. The Birthday Celebrations are a tradition going back nearly 200 years and are held on the weekend closest to William Shakespeare’s birthday on April 23.
The birthday weekend brings together performers, artists, the local community and ambassadors from around the world in a vibrant celebration of the life and works of William Shakespeare. During the two day event, the town’s streets overflow with music, pageantry and drama and you are invited to enjoy a packed programme of special activities and great days out at the five Shakespeare houses.
The widely publicised Shakespearean Festival of 1769, organised by the famous actor David Garrick, first established Stratford as a shrine of literary pilgrimage. It was during the nineteenth century that the idea of holding annual celebrations in honour of the poet was gradually established. The tercentenary of Shakespeare's birth in 1864 marked the next big step forward with a three week celebration held in a wooden tent on the opposite side of the river from where the theatre stands now.