The battle lines are being drawn for a 'virtual' Bosworth Medieval Festival this autumn.
The annual event at the county council's Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre may have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, but history buffs of all ages will still be able to enjoy the sights and sounds of the annual event through a digital version.
The Virtual Bosworth Medieval Festival 2020 will take place on the weekend of Saturday, 22 and Sunday, 23 August.
The festival is always one of the highlights of the summer calendar, with lots on offer from battle re-enactments and living history encampments to displays of horsemanship, falconry, cannon fire, as well as games and competitions.
Now, plans are being finalised for a 'virtual launch' of the event with the build-up starting on Sunday, 16 August with information on the battlefield's Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels.
The online fun will include quizzes, historical information about the battle, craft and fancy dress competitions for children, living history videos narrated by characters caught up in the battle and an appeal for people to send in their images of past festivals.
It was disappointing to cancel the actual festival but, clearly, all steps have to be taken to prevent the spread of Covid-19. I'm delighted that we are able to stage the Bosworth Medieval Festival as a virtual event this year, giving visitors, re-enactors and traders the chance to take part in its online incarnationPerson:Councillor Richard Blunt, county council cabinet member for heritage, leisure and arts
On the weekend itself, events will be posted online and on social media at the same times they would have been taking place at the festival site. Highlights include:
Jester, The Fool Monty, starts proceedings at 10am on the Saturday with a performance of magic tricks.
The annual rose-laying ceremony, which commemorates all those killed in the iconic battle, takes place virtually at 11am, to mark its 535th anniversary. The ceremony will be led by the Bishop of Leicester, Martyn Snow.
Staff at the Heritage Centre are also inviting people to post pictures and videos as they lay their own roses.
Visitors to the website and social media channels will be able to immerse themselves in the virtual festival with specially-recorded videos from re-enactors and traders, including music, cooking demonstrations, a knight school and the Battle of Bosworth re-imagined as a war game by the Battlefields Trust.
There will be question and answer sessions with authors Nathen Amin and Matthew Lewis, and there are also plans for Heritage Centre staff to film their own contributions to a 'virtual' re-enactment of the 1485 battle.