A carnival parade will celebrate the Feast Day of the Abbey’s patron saint Germain on Wednesday 31 July with banners, articulated puppets, dancing and music.

Created and performed by locally based arts and community groups, and part-funded by Arts Council England, the day will reference the epic journey of the monk, Benedict, who founded the Abbey in 1069, from France to Selby.

This will be a high quality, celebratory project providing a chance for people, living, working and studying in Selby to connect with their history and join in the parade.

There’ll be silk banners, a ten foot tall St Benedict, articulated swan puppets and dancing students telling this wonderful story which is an integral part of the story of our Abbey and the town itself.

Several Selby-based groups will be working with leading arts company, Edgelands Arts, to deliver a truly spectacular event, including:

  • Selby Abbey Choir, living history groups and reenactors
  • Tadcaster-based Leilah Vyner, from Dragon Willow, will work with local groups to weave and make puppets and creatures from all types of natural materials.
  • Selby Theatre  and Dance Academy will work with Selby’s cheerleaders, dancers, gymnasts and sports clubs clubsJust Drama, a local dramaturgist, will involve local schools and help devise and create a performance within the parade 
  • will join the parade
  • Local music ensembles and musicians from schools have also been approached to get involved

 The parade will end at Selby Abbey where a living history day will be taking place.

Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, Arts Council England have awarded significant funding from their National Lottery Project Grants programme, to Selby District Council to deliver a programme of arts and heritage events to celebrate the 950th anniversary of the founding of Selby Abbey.

A series of free events have been announced to help you get involved in the parade by creating banners, puppets, flags, costumes or masks. You can also get involved in the event’s performance itself – with singing, dancing and performance workshops. Maybe you could even help create the ten foot tall Benedict, who will be a star of the parade.

Workshop details are available here. Some of these workshops are drop in events, while others ask that you sign up before they take place.