The country’s premier Morris dancing festival is to return to Evesham in 2022.

Organisers have announced the National Morris Weekend is to return following a two-year hiatus imposed by the pandemic.

Since launching in 2006 as part of the British Asparagus Festival, the event has taken on a life of its own.

Evesham Town and Wychavon District councillor Andrew Dyke can’t wait.

“I am delighted the Morris Weekend is returning to Evesham,” he said.

“Evesham has become the Morris capital of the country, hosting more Morris clubs over one weekend, than anywhere else.

“Dancing, singing and colour, make for a wonderful spectacle and performances can be seen all over the town centre.”

Mayor of Evesham, Sue Amor, has a personal connection with the event and is even hoping to strap on the bell pads herself.

She said: “I am really looking forward to the Morris Weekend.

“I used to teach Morris Dancing as part of the PE curriculum and absolutely loved it.

“Hopefully I will get the chance to join in at some point of the Morris weekend.”

The weekend will run from Friday June 10 to Sunday June 12 and as many as 30 Morris sides from across the country are expected to take part, with up to 450 dancers and musicians.

On the Saturday, visiting sides are taken on a coach tour of the Vale of Evesham and the Cotswolds, given the chance to dance in places such as Broadway, Worcester and Bretforton.

The main event of the weekend is the Morris procession from Abbey Park, up Bridge Street, and into Market Place, followed by an afternoon of performances.

The winning side, deemed to display the best spirit of the Morris, is presented with the Evesham Stick.

Councillor Dyke added that the event is just one of several exciting things planned for the summer.

He said: “Evesham is famous for putting on events, the biggest being the Simon De Montfort ‘Battle of Evesham’ in early August.

“Events are produced by generally by volunteers who love to showcase their particular interest and everyone, from children and the general public to local businesses in Evesham, all benefit.”

The best part of the weekend is the Morris procession from the Abbey Park, up Bridge Street, and into the Market Place, which is followed by an afternoon of the best dance performances, before the side that is considered to have displayed the best overall spirit of the Morris are presented with the Evesham Stick !