How to Organise a Village Feast
Eating, drinking and talking together is fun.
Feasting like this in a community like a village or a group of streets in a town promotes a sense of community and well being which it’s hard to beat. A great example is the agricultural shows of Scotland, which are important occasions for everyone, especially outlying farmers who will come in from the hills for one of the most important community events of the year, on a par with Hogmanay.
If your community lacks a sense of togetherness then I can recommend organising a Feast. If it already has a sense of community then it’s just that bit easier. Whether you are focusing on a group of streets in a town, a number of small hamlets and outlying farms or an existing village, a Feast can do nothing but good. Lay on good food and gallons of drink, some entertainments, perhaps link it to some competitions, entertainments and local crafts and you have the beginnings of a recipe which can benefit everyone.
Our experience is based on the village Feast at Great Shelford in Cambridgeshire, UK. Although the Feast goes back into mediaeval times it died out in 1939 until revived in 1994 - originally as a way of raising funds for the local primary school.
That Feast was organised in just six weeks and was a roaring success, but it also had many weaknesses which we’ve tried to fix in the years since - and which has lead us to the formula we use today: still with weaknesses, always open to improvement, but which we hope you can learn from.
While there’s nothing that can’t be improved, we’ve had great success with our arrangements and writing this will help us too. Just remember that while we refer at times to alternative ideas the main part of this book is based on our summertime outdoor Feast. While we suggest other ideas, and have seen them work elsewhere, our expertise lies mainly in our own Feast.
Want to know more? We have a handbook giving our experience : the first two chapters in Word format, The Handbook in iBooks format (10Mb file) and The Handbook in pdf format. If you like it, do tell us what you think and if it's useful we're happy to accept a small donation.
A detailed Guide for Bunch Members is here.