Winster Wakes carnival returns to form promising a weekend of family fun

After three years of ups and downs in the village, the stage is set for Winster to celebrate the return of its spectacular carnival which will bring a riot of life to its ancient streets this weekend.

While many Peak District villages host their own annual ‘wakes’ or carnivals, Winster’s picturesque 18th-century Main Street – dating from the local lead mining boom – lends a timeless quality to the family fun and games happening on Saturday, July 2, which cap off off a whole week of events.

The National Trust Market Hall and the Dower House enclose the road at each end. So this space, virtually the only long piece of flat ground in the village, make it an ideal place for residents to gather.

Geoff Lester, a member of the organising committee, said: "Parades, royal weddings and jubilees, coronations and thanksgivings have all been celebrated here, and the Shrove Tuesday pancake races are still an annual event. But the event that is guaranteed to be ‘thronged’ is Winster Wakes Day.

Wakes Week sees the whole village pull together.

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    “This is the traditional day for Winster's own team of morris dancers to perform. There will also be a Bubble Man Show, contact ball walkabout, Ashbourne Town Band and tug-o-war on the street outside Winster Hall.”

    On Friday night, there will be the traditional duck hunt, with families roaming the village to seek out the hidden ducks. Entry costs 50p per child, starting from the bowling green.

    For an older crowd, there is a barn dance in a marquee on the playing fields with live band Speed the Plough, food and drink from 7.30pm.

    Carnival day will kick off with the fancy dress competition at at Leacroft at 1.30pm, before the parade of floats sets off at 2.15pm.

    As well as all the street entertainment, there will be a wide range of stalls, barbecue and other refreshments available through the afternoon.

    In the evening the focus switches back to the marquee on the playing field next to the school for family entertainment, featuring children's football, a bouncy castle and karaoke, followed by a music night with singer Sarah Bright, a licensed bar and barbecue. Tickets cost £6 for adults, £3 for under-16s.

    For anyone arriving from outside the village, Main Street will be closed to traffic throughout the day.

    For full details of all events, see