Jack is back in town

If you have ever met Bristol’s Jack in the Green, you are likely to remember him. At nine feet tall, with burgeoning foliage and dancing to the beat of drums, he weaves his way through the city’s streets just once a year – the first Saturday in May.

Adding to this strange spectacle are Jack’s musicians and dancers, all disguised in green and mingling with the bustle of shoppers, cyclists and those just relaxing with a beer at a pavement café. As onlookers stop and stare, passing drivers give a friendly toot of their horns and children rush to have their noses painted green!

So what’s Jack all about? A celebration of summer? Definitely! An old Bristol tradition? Yes – about 200 years old and maybe more. A fertility symbol? Who knows… Whatever else, Jack is a family-friendly event, enjoyed by people of all ages.

This year he appears on Saturday 7th May, and by the end of his five-mile, day-long journey he will have seen a lot of Bristol – and a lot of Bristol will have seen him.

His dance starts in the centre of town, at the Harbourside (Arnolfini) at 10.30am. He’ll then make his way around St Nicholas Market and Broadmead, up St Michael’s Hill and through Kingsdown and Redland before travelling up Gloucester Road to arrive at Horfield Common (by the tennis courts near Ash Road) at about 4.00pm.

Jack’s day ends on the Common with more music and dancing. But for Jack himself, the prospects are not good once he arrives at Horfield. After dancing his last, he “meets his end”, as all the children and adults who have gathered to greet him are called to strip his leaves and mark the beginning of summer.

Watch out for Jack on Saturday 7th May and follow his procession. To find out more about him email [email protected].

All times are approximate.

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