High Street, scene of Jem Famous's planned performance

High Street, scene of Jem Famous's planned performance

An artist will put on a street performance with a difference to kick off a summer season of events in the Lake District.

Jem Famous will enact his Grow Your Own show on England’s highest High Street, the 828m (2,718ft) fell in eastern Lakeland.

The one-off performance for an audience of passing fellwalkers will take place tomorrow morning, Tuesday, 12 July and will include a sickle-juggling show and Peter Rabbit’s daring escape from Mr McGregor’s sack.

The felltop presentation is being staged, weather permitting, as part of the Lakes Alive summer season.

Ambleside resident Mr Famous, a keen fellrunner, said: “I’ve performed in some unusual places but never on top of a mountain.

“I’m looking forward to doing the show somewhere with such great views and so steeped in history.  There are usually quite a few people walking on High Street so hopefully the audience will consist of more than the resident population of sheep and fell ponies.”

The special events also mark the 60th anniversary of the creation of the Lake District national park.

Richard Leafe, chief executive of the Lake District National Park Authority, said: “This summer marks a very special occasion for us with our 60th birthday celebrations, which we want as many as people as possible to enjoy and celebrate.

“The Lakes Alive events look so much fun it seems like they’ll be creating a party atmosphere all the time and we’re just delighted to be part of the celebrations.”

The broad summit of High Street is known as Racecourse Hill and was the site of the annual shepherds’ meet which was held each year on 12 July until 1835.  People from the surrounding valleys would gather on the mountain to take part in games and wrestling and return stray sheep to their owners.

A Roman road between Ambleside and Penrith also crosses the summit ridge.

Mr Famous will also perform on 13 August at a Lakes Alive event at the Lake District visitor centre at Brockhole to celebrate the park’s anniversary.

Julie Tait, the director of Kendal Arts International which directs Lakes Alive with Manchester International Arts, said: “We wanted to do something different to kick off our summer season of events and help mark the 60th anniversary of the national park.

“Lakes Alive is all about bringing people together to enjoy great entertainment, as the annual summer fair on High Street once did.

“Our events all take place against the backdrop of Cumbria’s beautiful and varied scenery and this is certainly the UK’s most spectacular High Street.”

Further details summer events are on the Lakes Alive website.

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