Preparations are currently in full swing for the opening of the Wales Coast Path later this year. In the build up to this, towns and cities along the Welsh coast are planning events to celebrate the festival of St David, patron saint of Wales - www.museumwales.ac.uk/en/275/
With the support of sixteen local authorities, areas along the Welsh coast will be playing host to some truly exciting and unusual Welsh events; giving local residents the opportunity to embrace the rich Celtic history of their nation.
From parades to cawl tasting competitions, sports and music festivals, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Don a leek or a daffodil and take the families along to one of the many events taking place in the local area.
Welsh Lady Fun Run, Aberystwyth
This year’s Welsh Lady Fun Run will be held on Sunday the 4th March 2012 on the seafront in Aberystwyth. The event opens with childrens’ races who are challenged to 'beat the leek', this is followed by the main race which is three kilometers and runs along Aberystwyth promenade – all proceeds will be donated to two charities - Apel Elain and the Children's Ward in Bronglais Hospital. Supporters are invited to come down to cheer the runners along and enjoy the entertainment, stalls, free refreshments, Welsh cakes and cawl. www.visitaberystwyth.com
The National St David’s Day Parade, Cardiff
Come down to Wales’ capital city from 12.30pm on 1 March to celebrate at a parade which will feature an array of eye-catching displays including musicians, carnival dancers, traditional costume and the Giants of Wales! Starting from City Hall supporters can join in anywhere along the route which heads down Boulevard de Nantes, through the city centre and ends at the St David’s Hall. www.cardiff.gov.uk
Plas Newydd Country House and Gardens, Anglesey
This 18th century property and its surrounding gardens will be open to visitors all day on 1 March. Situated close to the Menai Strait, the house is home to the Marquess of Anglesey and boasts an extraordinary 1930s interior. Stroll through the grounds and take in the beautiful gardens, official tours of the house which will also run throughout the day. Visitors wearing a traditional daffodil will be admitted for free! www.nationaltrust.org.uk/plas-newydd
St David’s Food and Craft Festival 2012, Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire
This annual festival is one of the highlights of the year for residents and visitors to the coastal town of Saundersfoot. Come down from 2-4 March to enjoy the stalls, celebrity chef demonstrations and the famous cawl making competition - the ‘Cawl Cooking Championship of the World… and Elsewhere’. www.visit-saundersfoot.com
Oriel y Parc Gallery and Visitor Centre, Pembrokeshire
Oriel y Parc, located at the heart of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, will host a busy day full of activities for all ages on 1 March. Come down to see local schools and community groups take part in a St David’s Day procession from 11.50am, brush up on your Welsh language skills at an open air event to promote the Welsh language at 1.30pm. Finish off the day by heading down to St David’s Cathedral for Choral Evensong at 6.00pm. www.orielyparc.co.uk
Porthcawl Interceltic Festival, Bridgend
From 2-4 March, head to the beautiful heritage coast of Porthcawl in Bridgend to enjoy musical acts, workshops, dances and sessions performed by Celtic acts from places such as Ireland, Scotland, Brittany, Isle of Man and of course Wales. The festival, based in the Grand Pavilion on the town seafront, has two indoor stages and all activities take place close to the town centre, beaches, coastal paths and dunes. It concludes with a colourful ‘Parade of the Celts’ in Porthcawl. www.cwlwmceltaidd.com
St David's Day Tea Dance, Neath Port Talbot
On St David’s Day join local residents at St David’s Church for a traditional tea dance. This ticket-only event opens at 1.30pm; the band will begin at 2pm and will be followed by Fairtade Afternoon Tea. Limited tickets available, please contact 01639 640673
The Wales Coast Path has been developed by the Welsh Government in partnership with the Countryside Council for Wales (CCW), sixteen local authorities and two National Parks.
In addition to funding from the Welsh Government and the coastal local authorities of approximately £2 million per year, the European Regional Development Fund has allocated nearly £4 million over four years to support the project.