Countdown to St Leger Festival Week begins!

The countdown is on to the biggest event in the Doncaster calendar with St Leger Festival Week just around the corner. As racing lovers descend on the town for four days of world class horse racing from 13-16th September at Doncaster Racecourse, including the world’s oldest Classic the St Leger, there’s plenty of other activities taking place across the borough.

St Leger Festival Week, which runs from Friday 8th to Sunday 17th September, officially kicks off with the DNweekeND. Doncaster’s free festival of art and performance takes place in Sir Nigel Gresley Square between Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th September. Visitors can enjoy plenty of exciting performances including street theatre, dance and circus skills alongside workshops, foods and crafts.

Sunday 10th September also sees Cusworth Hall mark 300 years since the birth of architect James Paine, who made significant alterations to the hall between 1749 and 1753. To mark this there is a special Heritage Open Day: ‘Renewal and Renovation’. Regular guided tours between 11am and 3pm will look at major changes through the years around the Hall and the Walled Gardens; plus original family documents from Doncaster archives will be available to view.  

For those making their way back into the town centre after a day at the races, or for those who just want to enjoy some live music in a fantastic setting, Regent Square Live offers three evenings of music. Set in the mid-19th century garden square of Regent Square, there’ll be food, a bar and live music including 80’s pop, jazz, funk and tributes to Paloma Faith and the Beatles. Make sure you go along between Thursday 14th and Saturday 16th September.

There’s plenty of other live music on offer throughout St Leger Festival Week, whatever your taste. The Summer of Love is a two day festival of live music across two venues; The Leopard in the town centre and Hatfield Water Park. Dozens of live acts will be performing on Friday 15th and Saturday 16th September, including a headline set from 90’s Britpop band Dodgy.

If classical music is more your thing, Doncaster Dome will play host to ‘The Magic of the Opera’ on Sunday 17th September. The show for all the family will feature some of the best songs from the most popular operas, as well as the chance to see Doncaster’s very own Lesley Garrett perform live.

Doncaster has a thriving live entertainment scene and of course during the St Leger Festival Week there’s plenty on offer. The Fringe Festival will take place throughout September at regular venues including The Social, Cask Corner, The Masons Arms, Doncaster Brewery, Manana Manana and The Leopard. They’ve all got packed line ups of music, entertainment and comedy across the month.

There are more details on these events, plus an ever-increasing list of over 100 events taking place across the borough throughout September, on the Visit Doncaster website (www.visitdoncaster.com). The Doncaster Council website (www.doncaster.gov.uk) will also provide details of the St Leger Festival Week highlights. Social media users are encouraged to follow the Visit Doncaster and My Doncaster accounts to make sure they don’t miss a thing.

Cllr Bill Mordue, Cabinet Member for Business, Skills and Economic Development said: “St Leger Festival Week is always a highlight in the Doncaster calendar and we’ve got another exciting line-up this month. Each year the list of events gets better; once again it’s great to see such a variety taking place across the borough catering for all interests.

“Doncaster will welcome thousands of visitors for a day at the races this month, and I hope plenty of those people stay to take advantage of what else we have on offer. I’m sure local residents will also be pleasantly surprised by the many different events for them to enjoy throughout September, whether they plan on going to the races or not. September is festival month in Doncaster and it’s a great time to celebrate our history, heritage and culture.”