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Covent Garden May Fayre & Puppet Festival

Covent Garden May Fayre & Puppet FestivalNed Dyke-Coomes/Alternativearts.org.uk
Where? St. Paul’s, Bedford Street, Covent Garden When? 11th May 2025 Procession starts at 11 AM Church service in St. Paul's at 12 noon Punch & Judy shows, folk music and maypole dancing from 12.30 PM to 5.30 PM Price? Free · See alternativearts.org Parking: Nearby car parks Buses: 9, 13, 15, 23, 24, 139, 153, RV1 Bus fares Trains: The closest station is Covent Garden Piccadilly Other nearby stations: Charing Cross, Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus and Tottenham Court Road Train fares

Punch & Judy Professors and Puppeteers from all over the country will be gathering inside the garden of St. Paul's church to celebrate the annual May Fayre & Puppet Festival.

Mr Punch and Samuel Pepys

A Punch and Judy show in Covent GardenPhoto: alternativearts.org.uk
A Punch and Judy show in Covent Garden

It was on this very spot that London diarist Samuel Pepys made the first recorded sighting of Mr Punch on the 9th May 1662.

Mr Punch has always been an anarchic character, bashing people with his stick and poking fun at the establishment, which is probably why he has remained so popular for 350 years.

A Punch and Judy show in Covent GardenPhoto: Ned Dyke-Coomes/Alternativearts.org.uk

The cast of characters always include a clown, a hungry crocodile and a bossy constable, Policeman Jack, who will probably get walloped by a string of sausages.

Grand Procession and Punch & Judy shows

Maypole dancing in the garden of St. Paul's churchPhoto: alternativearts.org.uk
Maypole dancing in the garden of St. Paul's church

The day's festivities will begin at 11 AM when a brass band leads a procession around the grounds of Covent Garden, ending with a toast to Mr Punch by the memento plaque that's fixed to the portico wall of St. Paul's church (not to be confused with the cathedral).

The garden of St. Paul's ChurchPhoto: Craig Cross
The garden of St. Paul's Church

This will kick off an afternoon of Punch & Judy shows performed by ‘Professors’ from all over the UK, Europe, America and Australia, and lots of family-friendly activities like puppet workshops, maypole dancing and folk music in the garden.

Church service with Mr Punch

St. Paul's Church in Covent GardenPhoto: Craig Cross
St. Paul's Church in Covent Garden

At 12 noon there will be a special service inside St. Paul's church with Mr Punch appearing in the pulpit.

London Squire bookThe owns londondrum.com and has spent the last decade reviewing the capital’s landmarks, attractions and hotels. His guidebook is available from Amazon

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