A POPULAR rushbearing event will ‘build on last year’s online success’ when it takes place in an adapted format this Saturday.

New to Grasmere Rushbearing this year is a competition between shops to see which can come up with the best-decorated window.

Will Clark, who is on the rushbearing committee, stressed the importance of the event to the community.

“It’s just an opportunity to bring the whole village together, as a celebration,” said Mr Clark, 36.

“It means something different for everyone.

“Myself and Amy Burton, we are a similar age. We are both on the organising committee and we have both been involved with it since we were four.

“She’s got a young daughter now who’s a similar age and it’s nice to see the younger generation enjoying it.”

Grasmere Rushbearing, which began in 1680, usually sees a costumed procession move through the village and a sports day take place.

However, this year, as in 2020, these elements will be missing from the event to stop crowds from gathering amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Last year, the event was held virtually, with members of the public sharing images online of bearings they had created at home. The format meant it was the first year international participation was possible.

“It was mid-restrictions, mid-lockdown, so people were at home with a lot of time on their hands,” said Mr Clark.

“A lot of people engaged.”

This year, the rushbearing committee is building on the success of last year’s online offering and holding the event in a mixed format.

Mr Clark said 25 businesses had signed up to the window dressing competition.

There will be a colouring competition for infants and juniors, with adults also welcome to participate.

Grasmere Brass Quartet will play via a live stream, and Grasmere School has made bearings to be put up in St Oswald’s Church.

Search for ‘A Virtual Grasmere Rushbearing 2021’ on Facebook for more.