rory helps launch town’s new annual ‘winter droving’ event
Rory had the great pleasure of taking part in Penrith’s inaugural Winter Droving event, organised and coordinated by Eden Arts, Penrith Chamber of Commerce and Eden District Council.
The local MP joined hundreds of participants parading through the town centre wielding flame-lit torches, sporting an array of masks and costumes, and “droving” five enormous animal-shaped lanterns. The idea behind the event was to recognise the culture, tradition and heritage of the droving area which spectators were told stretches back over 1000 years. The parade weaved its way through the streets of Penrith before culminating at Great Dockray, where no expense had been spared in providing a spectacular light display and showcasing some fine local music acts.
As the local MP, Rory was invited to deliver a brief speech where he took to the stage to thank “the incredible efforts of all the event organisers and event sponsors”, as well as “everyone who took part to make it such a special and enjoyable occasion”. The MP urged everyone to not only celebrate on the evening, but to make sure they shopped in Penrith throughout the festive season.
Speaking afterwards, Rory said: “Tonight really was a fantastic event. It’s great to see such an impressive turnout, where young families in particular could come to learn and celebrate what it means to live and grow up in this area. Given its success, I sincerely hope it is able to embed itself as a firm fixture in Penrith’s calendar, and I have no doubt it will be able to draw in increasing numbers from throughout the region with each successive year.”