International Festival of Wormcharming

The 36th Blackawton International Festival of Wormcharming will take place on Saturday 9th May 2020.

Traditionally held on the Sunday before the early May Bank Holiday, the change of date this year is the result of the early May Bank holiday being moved to Friday 8th May – to commemorate the 75th anniversary of V.E. Day.

So we’ll dress the village on Bank Holiday Friday, hold Wormcharming on Saturday and still have a day to clear up and recover on Sunday!

The fancy-dress theme for this year’s event is (unsurprisingly) “V. E. Day”!

Origin & history

Blackawton’s Wormcharming heritage started back in 1983 when Dave Kelland and a mate of his had been imbibing ale in The Normandy Arms on a wet and miserable Sunday afternoon. On the way home, Dave needed to relieve himself and did so in a field and much to his surprise, worms started to come to surface. Having a fertile mind, Dave realised that there may some mileage in making his apparent ability to charm worms out of the ground a competitive event.

The first competition was held in 1984 and soon became a very important day in the village of Blackawton as it grew from strength to strength. Over the years many people from the parish became involved and provided the infrastructure to make it happen. In the early years, it was very much a “grown ups” event (judging by the pub’s takings!) although children were very welcome.