This year, the St George’s Day parade in the Midlands will take place on 20 April, marking its ten-year anniversary and potentially becoming the biggest event to date.
The event, known as the world’s largest unofficial parade commemorating the day of St George, is organised by the 1066 Motorcycle Club, which is based in Birmingham. The parade route will start from Tesco and Notcutts on Stratford Road in Shirley, Solihull. Cars, motorcycles, scooters, trikes, trucks and vans are all invited to take part in the family event, which will see participants making their way along the A34 to Hall Green and then return along the A34 to end at Henley-in-Arden.
The event was first held in 2004 by Birmingham-based personal trainer and boxing coach Ian Michael at the Merry Hill shopping centre at Brierley Hill near Dudley. It moved to Solihull the following year.
In 2006, 1066 Motorcycle Club took over the organisation of the parade and since then it has rapidly grown, seeing over 300 motorcycles and 200 other vehicles participate in the parade.
Organisers say that this is a family and friends event and also made it clear that only St George’s flags will be flown during the parade. They commented that the parade is not a racist one, but purely a patriotic one, the Birmingham Mail reports.
Although Ian Michael is not Irish, he was invited to participate in the Birmingham St Patrick’s Day Parade several years ago. He was surprised by the patriotism of the event and decided to organise a similar event to celebrate St George’s Day, he said.
The parade this year will support the Midland Freewheelers, a group of volunteering bikers providing transport of medical items, including blood, X-rays, patient records and tissue samples to hospitals when they are most needed.