Cambridge Events and Festivals

(Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England, UK)




Cambridge Events, Festivals and Things to DoWith such a youthful university vibe being ever-present in the city of Cambridge, the festival scene is a well-developed one, with popular events staged here most months. This is particularly so during the summer season, when rowing races on the River Cam are a common sight.

Each March, Cambridge Science Week is a notable highlight, while the world-famous Stilton Cheese Rolling event takes place in May and is roughly a 40-minute drive to the north-west. June sees the arrival of the Strawberry Fair and Midsummer Fair, both of which are staged at the Midsummer Common, followed by the East of England Country Show and the University Honorary Degree Day.

At the beginning of July, Cambridge University plays host to the Shakespeare Festival, when thousands flock to outdoor performances of Shakespeare classics. At little later in July, the Cambridge Film Festival is a huge event, first taking place in 1977 and currently centred around the Arts Picturehouse.


National Public Holidays


  • 1st January - New Year's Day
  • Good Friday / Easter Monday - late March or early April
  • First and last Monday in May
  • Last Monday in August
  • 25th December - Christmas Day
  • 26th December - Boxing Day

(If Christmas Day, Boxing Day or New Year's Day falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the next weekday becomes a public holiday).

Calendar of Festivals and Events 2014 / 2015



January


  • New Year's Day - general festivities and celebrations take place throughout the city on this national holiday

February


  • Snowdrop Season - late February, spectacular spring flowers at Anglesey Abbey in Lode, close to Cambridge
  • Rag Carnival Procession - late February, this popular college extravaganza takes place in the city centre
  • Lent Bumps - late February, the Cambridge University college boat teams race on the River Cam

March


  • Cambridge Science Week - mid-March, with leading experts holding talks, lectures, and demonstrations across the city, on a wide range of scientific subjects
  • Wimpole Home Farm Lambing Weekends - mid-March to early April, a chance to see newborn lambs as spring arrives in Cambridgeshire
  • Thriplow Daffodil Weekend - late April, masses of daffodils are in bloom at this popular village festival in Thriplow Village, nearby Cambridge

May


  • Reach Fair - early May, a popular fair held in the Reach Village, close to the city
  • Stilton Cheese Rolling - early May, this is one of the more unusual events in the area and takes place in the historic village of Stilton
  • Oxfam Sponsored Walk - mid-May, this popular charity event starts at Chilford Hall
  • Cambridge Beer Festival - late May, held at Jesus Green, with over 120 Real Ales, more than 60 foreign beers, ciders, English wines and a vast array of food

June


  • Strawberry Fair - early June, held at Midsummer Common, marking the arrival of summer, with numerous outdoor events and festivals
  • Duxford D-Day Anniversary Show - early June, held at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford, close to Cambridge
  • Children's Festival - early June, with many special events for children, held at Jesus Green
  • College June Bumps - mid-June, the Cambridge University college boat teams race on the River Cam
  • June Week - mid-June, general celebrations and special events take place throughout the city
  • Cambridge Midsummer Fair - mid-June, held at Midsummer Common in the city, with many popular events and celebrations
  • East of England Country Show - mid-June, a large and varied country show held in Peterborough
  • Singing on the River - mid-June, outdoor concerts held at King's College River Bank
  • University Honorary Degree Day - mid-June, held at various venues in the city
  • East Anglian Flower and Garden Show - mid-June, a large gardening show with many horticultural exhibits and events, held at Bourne Airfield, close to Cambridge
  • National Bike Week - mid-June, various cycling events, races and festivals are held throughout the area
  • Jazz and Brass in the Parks - late June, outdoor jazz and brass bands perform at a number of central parks in the city
  • Wisbech Rose Fair - late-June to early July, this popular rose fair is held in Wisbech, close by

July


  • Shakespeare Festival - early July, College Gardens, many famous Shakespeare plays are performed outdoors at a number of Cambridge University college gardens, attracting around 25,000 people
  • Aquafest - early July, held at the Riverside in Ely, on the outskirts of the city
  • Open Studios - held during the weekends in July at various venues
  • Cambridge Film Festival - mid-July, this popular event is held at various cinemas throughout the city and has become of one of the major film premier fests in the United Kingdom
  • Jazz and Brass in the Parks - various days throughout July, outdoor jazz and brass bands perform at a number of central parks
  • Ely Folk Weekend - mid-July, this popular folk fest is held in Ely, close to Cambridge
  • Pop in the Park - mid-July, held at Parker's Piece, this huge free party features live bands, stalls, funfairs, outdoor film screenings and fireworks
  • Big Day Out - mid-July, held at Parker's Piece, with outdoor music events and parties
  • World Pea Shooting Championships - mid-July, one of the city's more unusual events, held in nearby Witcham Village
  • Flying Legends Air Show - mid-July, with many exciting demonstrations, held at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford
  • Summer Sunday - mid-July, Parker's Piece
  • Summer Recitals - mid-July to mid-August
  • London to Cambridge Cycle Ride - late July
  • Town Bumps - late July
  • Cambridge Folk Festival - late July

August


  • Duxford Military Vehicle Show - early August, a large number of military vehicles are displayed at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford
  • The Comedy Marquee Club - early August, held at Jesus Green
  • The Children's Theatre Marquee - children's events held at Jesus Green
  • Shuttleworth Collection - mid-August, a Military Pageant held at nearby Bedford
  • Cambridge Shakespeare Festival - mid-August, many famous Shakespeare plays are performed outdoors at a number of university college gardens, attracting around 25,000 people
  • Jazz and Brass in the Parks - mid-August, outdoor jazz and brass bands perform at a number of central parks
  • Fenland Country Fair - late August, held at Stow-Cum-Quy Village, nearby Cambridge
  • St. Ives Music and Arts Festival - late August, this popular music and arts fest is held in St. Ives

September


  • Duxford Flying Show - early September, with many exciting demonstrations, held at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford, close by
  • Heritage Open Days - mid-September, held at various locations throughout Cambridge
  • Haddenham Steam Rally - mid-September, this popular steam event features a large number of working steam engines, held at nearby Haddenham
  • Stanley Thurston Fun Fair - mid-September, a popular fun fair held at Midsummer Common
  • Chariots of Fire Race - mid-September, this race attracts large crowds of spectators in central Cambridge

October


  • Duxford Flying Show - early October, with many exciting demonstrations, held at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford
  • World Conker Championships - mid-October, an unusual and enjoyable event, held in nearby Ashton

November


  • Firework Celebrations and Funfair - early November, general festivities held at Midsummer Common
  • Cambridge Music Festival - mid-November, live music and concerts held in the city centre
  • Christmas Lights Switch On - late November, the city's Christmas lights are switched on in central Cambridge, to mark the beginning of the Christmas season

December


  • Pantomime Season - Christmas pantomimes are held at various theatres in and around the city
  • The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols - December 24th, a Christmas concert held at King's College Chapel in Cambridge
  • New Year's Eve - December 31st, general parties and events take place throughout the city, culminating in spectacular fireworks at midnight







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