The puppet festival takes place at St Paul's Church. The location has a special significance; it's a stone's throw away from the spot where diarist Samuel Pepys first recorded his delight at seeing Mr Punch in May 1662.
The celebrations kick off with a Grand Procession at 11am through the streets of Covent Garden. The Superior Brass Band will lead the way to the commemorative Mr Punch plaque in the Piazza. Raise your glasses to the puppet for a special birthday toast, celebrating 357 years of showbiz.
At noon there'll be a church service with a difference: Mr Punch will take to the pulpit.
Then, the festivities will begin in earnest. Prepare for an afternoon fayre complete with puppet shows, hands-on workshops, live folk music from The Lost Marbles string band, a troupe of clowns, and traditional Maypole dancing. To keep the grown ups amused, there will be plenty of stalls and refreshments.
This year also celebrates Professor Bryan Clarke’s 80th birthday with a birthday party at 3pm, as well as Bob Pelham’s 100th anniversary with a puppet pantomime courtesy of Pelham Puppets' David Leech.
The fun will go on until 5:30pm, and, as it's free and non-ticketed, you can pop in for a little while, or make a day of it.
Covent Garden May Fayre and Puppet Festival, St Paul's Church Garden
|What||Covent Garden May Fayre and Puppet Festival, St Paul's Church Garden|
|Where||St Paul's Church, Bedford St, , London , WC2E 9ED | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Covent Garden (underground)|
On 12 May 19, 11:00 AM – 5:30 PM
|Website||Click here for more information|