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As a region rich in history, the Cotswolds is home to many special events and festivals throughout the year. Gloucester founded by Roman Emperor Nerva over 2000 years ago, and granted it's Charter by King Richard III Duke of Gloucester, has a growing reputation for festivals and events. The Tall Ships Festival in May 2013, attracts over 120,000 visitors to the city to the Historic docks to enjoy a weekend of old sailing ships and historical re-enactment, entertaining and informative for the whole family.
In September Gloucester also hosts the Heritage Open Days , which are promoted in conjunction with Gloucester History Festival, and are one of the top 3 heritage events in the UK. The annual Lantern Procession is a unique event in the area whilst other events, such as the BiG Eat Week and the Rhythm & Blues Festival, rely heavily on the commitment of local businesses. In addition, Gloucester Quays organise an annual programme of events including a Food Festival in July which attracts around 90,000 visitors and a Victorian Christmas Market in November which attracted 150,000 visitors in November 2013. More information can be found www.thecityofgloucester.co.uk
Other festivals in the Cotswolds region include the Cheltenham Folk Festival held each February, featuring the work of some of the country's best artisans, artists, and musicians and the Cheltenham Jazz Festival held in May. The Jazz Festival features musicians from across the globe. Cheltenham hosts three other festivals: Cheltenham Science Festival in June, Cheltenham Music Festival in July and Cheltenham Literature Festival in October. For more information about these festivals visit the Cheltenham Festivals website:http://www.cheltenhamfestivals.com/
Further afield in the region, the historic market town of Lechlade on Thames hosts a 3 day family-friendly music festival over the late May bank holiday. Lechlade Festival offers a family experience with 80+ bands on multiple stages, free family workshops and free entry for children 16 & under. Find out more on the Lechlade Festival website at www.lechladefestival.co.uk
The town of Stratford-on-Avon in the region, as many know, was the home of William Shakespeare. Stratford holds several events in the famous Bard's honor, the most famous taking place each April in celebration of his birthday. The Shakespeare birthday celebrations take place over an entire weekend and include live music and theater, folk dancing, a special birthday concert and a grand ball. The Cotswolds town of Bath also holds its own Shakespeare festival in March featuring theater, music, and dancing from around the world.