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  1. ITV Report

Birthday celebrations begin for Shakespeare

William Shakespeare's home in Stratford-upon-Avon Photo: ITV Central

Stratford's annual birthday celebrations take place this weekend in honour of William Shakespeare.

The celebrations lead up to the World Shakespeare Festival, which starts on 23 April, Shakespeare's birthday.

The weekend festivities will begin with the birthday procession, which will start at 10:35am, led by the Band of the Corps of Royal Engineers. This year the parade will follow a new circular route from the Town Hall to Bridge Street in the town centre for the unfurling of the flags ceremony.

Pupils and staff from King Edward VI School, which William Shakespeare attended, will lead the main procession will then continue along to lay flowers on the poet's grave at Holy Trinity Church.

The Royal Shakespeare Company will also welcome the World Shakespeare Festival to Stratford with performances and workshops and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trustis inviting visitors to sign giant birthday cards at the five Shakespeare Houses & Gardens, and enjoy a piece of free birthday cake.