the final procession around the streets of Rochester.
The annual Jack-in-the-Green awakening ceremony commences at dawn on 1 May. Local morris sides greet the Jack-in-the Green. After an hour or so of dancing, everyone heads off to the various pubs which have opened early to serve breakfast to the dancers, and the festival is underway.
Throughout the weekend there are various styles of dancing performed in the High Street by a variety of dance teams, while bands and musical groups (mostly folk and traditional singing styles) perform at various venues, often in pubs. Additionally, sometimes there are workshops.
The highlights of the festival are a Sweeps Ball at the Corn Exchange, and the final procession on Bank Holiday Monday, when many of the sides proceed through the main street, all dancing in their own styles. They parade from Rochester Castle gardens, along the High Street, through the Vines and back to the castle. The parade usually starts at around 2.45pm. There are also sweeps, who are mostly young children dressed up in costume with blackened faces, collecting for charity. It is considered lucky to be kissed by a sweep. Black-faced morris men will have you believe (if youContinued page 3/3