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Celebrate St George's Day at Trafalgar Square

Published: Monday 7th of March 2011

While the royal wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton on April 29th is no doubt one of the biggest things to do in London next month, St George's Day can be another excuse to visit the capital.

On April 23rd, London will celebrate the patron saint of England, who according to legend bravely killed a dragon in order to rescue a princess.

And while many thoughts will be turned to the future Princess Kate Middleton, the mayor of London Boris Johnson has announced a fun-filled week ahead of the wedding to coincide with St George's Day.

A £100,000 celebration will be held in Trafalgar Square to commemorate the patron saint, the London Evening Standard has revealed.

If you head to the city over the weekend of April 23rd you will enjoy a free concert, where West End stars and young musicians will entertain you. It is estimated that around 15,000 people will attend the show, so there will be plenty of others to dance and sing along with.

Mr Johnson wants to keep the celebratory atmosphere going for as long as possible in the city, with plenty of things to do in London on the cards between St George's Day and the royal wedding, the newspaper said.

Trafalgar Square is a London attraction in its own right and you might not be able to stop yourself taking in historic monuments such as Nelson's Column and the fountains surrounded by statues of dolphins and mermaids.

You will also spot statues of King George IV, Major General Sir Henry Havelock and General Sir Charles James Napier. The fourth plinth is for a guest residency and if you visit the square on St George's Day you will find it occupied by Nelson's Ship in a Bottle by Yinka Shonibare.

This fourth plinth was originally built in 1841 to showcase an equestrian statue, but a lack of funds meant it was never completed.

However in 1998, three pieces were commissioned to fill the space and attracted a lot of interest. Since 2005 the plinth has been filled with work chosen by the Fourth Plinth Commissioning Group.

If you decide to take a stroll to the Thames on St George's Day, you will find the river lined with beach huts and fairground rides, as well as plenty of food and drink so you won't have to wander too far to grab a meal before you hit even more London attractions.

Another well-known Englishman also shares the spotlight on April 23rd for it is the birthday of thespian William Shakespeare.

The writer of plays such as Romeo and Juliet, Twelfth Night, Hamlet and A Midsummer Night's Dream can be remembered at the Globe Theatre.

It is a replication of the 1599-built open-air playhouse where the man himself wrote many of his great works. From April to October, you can buy tickets for a variety of productions at the theatre.

After a busy weekend celebrating St George's Day in Trafalgar Square, sitting down to watch a play could be the perfect end to a break in London.

This season you can take your pick from productions including Much Ado About Nothing, Anne Boleyn, The Bible and The God of Soho.

If you decide there are too many things to do in London in one weekend, why not take advantage of the wide variety of hotels for all budgets and spend a week in the capital?

That way you can continue the party with the royal wedding on April 29th, which has been declared a public holiday. May Day then follows on the Monday, which can give you plenty of time to visit all of the top London attractions.

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