Organisers are eagerly awaiting the return of the country’s top Morris dancing event.

The National Morris Weekend will return to Evesham after the pandemic caused it to be cancelled in 2020 and 2021.

But with the dates for this year’s festival officially confirmed, organiser Julie Sparling can’t wait to see hundreds of musicians and dancers descend on the town.

She said: “When we had to take the hard decision to cancel our 2020 festival we were terribly disappointed, and naively believed by the September of that year we would all be back to normal.

“To have experienced two years of almost no dancing and no dance festivals has been very dis-heartening for everyone involved in Morris dancing, and so to be able to finally announce that our 2022 event is going ahead is very exciting, and we can’t wait to meet our Morris friends again.”

The weekend will take place from Friday June 10 to Sunday June 12 and will see as many as 30 Morris sides from across the country 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.