Asparagus Festival is underway

By Gary Smee 26/04 Updated: 30/04 16:00

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Buy photos » Shawn Riley, Evesham Market Town Partnership Manager, Nigel Smith, landlord of the Fleece Inn and Gus the Asparagus Man, get ready to present the bundle of asparagus to the Palace. Pictures by Stuart Purfield.

THE WORLD'S largest round of asparagus spearheaded the launch of this year's British Asparagus Festival.

Standing 15 feet high and made up of 28 individual spears the huge bundle stood tall at the traditional Great English Asparagus Run on Monday (April 23).

Well-wishers of all ages turned out at the event at The Fleece Inn in Bretforton and enjoyed an asparagus breakfast featuring the likes of asparagus granola and asparagus omelettes.

Morris Dancers, Bretforton Silver Band and Trevor Harrison, better known as Eddie Grundy from The Archers, were all there to serenade the giant asparagus before it set off on its travels on a trailer pulled by a tractor driven by the event's sponsor Gus The Asparagus Man.

The very first round of asparagus cut in 2012 made up of 120 spears also made the journey which included runners carrying asparatorches.

The first stop on the way was Shakespeare's birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon to mark the bard's birthday.

The round was then taken by Morgan Car to be presented to the Queen at Buckingham Palace to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee.

Angela Tidmarsh, Wychavon District Council's tourism officer, said: "The launch day was absolutely brilliant – I think the best ever!

"We had no less than four functions that day, starting at the Fleece which was amazing and was enjoyed by everyone, then onto Stratford where we were warmly welcomed and our giant asparagus caused quite a stir parked out side Shakespeare's birthplace.

"Buckingham Palace were wonderful. We were met by the chief clerk and presented him with the 100 Round of Gras.

"He informed us that Her Majesty would be at the Palace on Tuesday and he would discuss with the chef but it was more than likely our Asparagus would be on her menu that day.

"We also left a couple of our pin badges for The Queen and Prince Philip to wear! So watch this space."

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Buy photos» St George and Gus get ready to go to Stratford.

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Buy photos» Children from Bretforton First School are entertained by the Pebworth Morris Dancers.

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Buy photos» The asparagus is handed over in Stratford-upon-Avon.

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Buy photos» Coun Tony Miller, chairman of Wychavon District Council, and Angela Tidmarsh, tourism officer at Wychavon, show off the finest asparagus.

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Buy photos» Patriotic well-wishers wave off the float.

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