Celebrating Devon this Devon Day

Time to celebrate!

Although Devonians don’t need a special reason to enjoy this beautiful part of the country, the 4th June marks the official day for celebrating Devon.

Devon is celebrated on the 4th June each year as it is the feast day for St Petroc (also known as Petrock) (a 6th century  British prince and Celtic saint), who up until 2019, was the Patron Saint of Devon and is to whom the Devon flag is dedicated.

In 2019, Devon’s Patron Saint was changed to St Boniface, an Anglo-Saxon missionary from Crediton (in Mid Devon).  Although Devon Day remains the 4th June, St Boniface’s actual feast day is the 5th June so Devon has a whole weekend of celebrations instead of just one day!  Boniface (originally named Wynfrith) is famous for his missionary work in Hesse, Friesland and Bavaria (what is now Germany, France and the Netherlands).  While in Hesse, Boniface felled an oak tree sacred to pagans and its branches lay on the ground in the shape of a cross.  In its descent, sections of the oak crushed every other tree around except for a single fir tree.  Legend has it that this is the origin of the Christmas Tree.

How to Celebrate Devon Day

There are many ways you can enjoy Devon Day this year! Here are just some ideas:

Visit the hometown of St Boniface: Crediton

Obviously, Devon Day coincides with the occasion of the Queen’s diamond jubilee so this year is an extra special year of events!

Over the four national Jubilee days Crediton will see many community events including the lighting of a fire beacon to join others being lit nationally, a special Town Band performance in the town square with a cream tea for people from local care homes, open-air flag-making workshops to help decorate the town and an exciting Saturday-long entertainment ‘Party in the Park’ followed by a free open-air big screen evening movie.

Follow the Boniface Trail throughout the town with 8 stained glass window statues that mark the trail.  On Saturday the 4th, a guided trail walk with storytellers and actors starts at 11am from St Lawrence Green.

Sunday the 5th will see the transformation of a fir tree into a Christmas tree in the town square. The event will mark the legend of Crediton being the birthplace of the Christmas tree with scores of children and parents invited to decorate the tree with hundreds of painted pine cones and glitter. They will then join hundreds of other events up and down the country with “The BIG National Sunday Lunch”. The square will be filled with additional tables and chairs, food will be on sale from street traders as well as perimeter traders, people can also simply bring their own food to share, there will be a programme of live music and singing, a big Tug of War competition between teams from the town and from the Crediton Hamlets and a fancy dress competition to come dressed as a favourite Queen or King.

Pick Your Own Fruit

Enjoy Devon food and drink

Famous for its fresh, local produce, farmers’ markets and stunning quality flavours, Devon is a food lover’s heaven.

From cosy tea rooms to fine dining, Mid Devon has it all.  Enjoy a pleasant walk or cycle ride and stop at one of our country pubs, micro-breweries or vineyards.  We have multiple award-winning eateries where you can sample local cuisine. With a number of dog-friendly venues, you’re welcome to bring your four-legged friends.

Visit one of our many farm shops where you can pick your own strawberries, pack a picnic and enjoy lunch in the countryside (see our Farm Shop and Farmers’ Market trail to taste your way across Mid Devon!).

Remember – if you indulge in our Devonshire cream teas, the clotted cream goes first and then the jam on top!

Credit: Martin Bodman / Hemyock: bluebell walk / CC BY-SA 2.0

Explore the Devon countryside

Devon is blessed with a wealth of natural beauty.  Nestled between two National Parks (Dartmoor and Exmoor), Mid Devon is ideally placed for exploring the wider landscape.  With an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (Blackdown Hills), the Grand Western Canal Country Park and an abundance of patchwork fields, immerse yourself in the idyllic rolling hills and valleys keeping an eye out for the wide variety of wildlife.

Discover scenic viewpoints, country villages,  verdant valleys, heathland, moors and countryside walks.

Visit Mid Devon

These are just a few suggestions to help you celebrate Devon Day this year. Follow us on Facebook @VisitMidDevon on Devon Day where we’ll be posting throughout the day with more inspiring ideas.  Looking to visit Devon another time?  Explore our website and plan your visit; Mid Devon has much to offer and enjoy!

Acknowledgement: Image of the Devon Flag courtesy of South West Heritage (swheritage.org.uk)

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