The day-long Bromyard Hop Festival on Sunday the 27th August 2017 will celebrate the market town’s long standing link to hop-growing, dating back to 1577. In the hop growing hey-day of the late 20th century, hundreds of people from the industrial South Wales, the Midlands and the Black Country would travel to Bromyard to work on the hop harvest. Times have changed but, with the rise of craft brewing, Herefordshire remains the largest hop producing area in the UK with new Hopyards being planted close to Bromyard in recent years.
The exciting all-day programme of events on Sunday the 27th August 2017 includes a children’s Scooter Race, a Vintage Vehicle parade through the streets, an arts and craft market at The Falcon Hotel, rural crafts demonstrations in the courtyard at the Falcon Hotel, a sale of decorative (and highly aromatic!) hop-bine products in The Mews at the Falcon Hotel and live bands in a ‘mini music festival’ in the town’s Market Square. And of course, it’s all free of charge to come along and watch!
The Hop Pocket Festival includes the famous World Championship Hop Pocket Race, the only one of its kind in the world, specially invented when the Hop Festival began in 2011. In the past, the Race has attracted crowds estimated at around 5000 to the town’s Broad St and High St. Teams of four run through the town carrying a full hop pockets (sacks) weighing up to 70kg (1.5cwt). The main Race is open to all classes, and there are also Ladies, Youths and Junior races with a lighter sacks. This year for the first time there’s a Fancy Dress race which will also have a much lighter sack. This year the winners of the overall World Championship race, and the Ladies World Championship race will win considerable cash prizes, cases of beer, specially produced mugs and trophies. All people entering the races will receive a Hop Festival medal, and winners will receive various prizes. We are lucky to have Toni Mcdonald from the BBC to present the prizes. If you wish to enter a team in the races the entry form can be found here: http://www.bromyardhopfestival.co.uk/programme/2017-regulations.html