DORCHESTER’S Brewery Square is bracing itself for an Easter extravaganza with some horse play this weekend.
A special ceremony will see the bronze dray horse statue arrive in style at the former brewery site.
The life-and-a-quarter size statue will take pride of place in Dray Horse Yard after being installed on Saturday.
The statue, which was cast at a foundry in Wales, is wrapped up and ready to go on its big day.
It will start at the Town Pump at midday and be transported on a 1920s horse drawn dray down South Street and along Weymouth Avenue to Dray Horse Yard, arriving at around 12.15pm.
There will be a jazz band performing in Dray Horse Yard during the installation and for much of the day and Andrew Wadsworth, director of Waterhouse which is developing Brewery Square in partnership with Resolution Property, said the event promises to be a real community occasion.
He said: “We are hoping there is a good crowd to come and watch the arrival and the process of lowering him into position, which will be an exciting thing to see.”
The statue, which was commissioned around a year ago, will represent the dray horse leaving the old brewery for the last time as the new development takes shape behind him.
The 12-foot dray horse sculpture has been created by equestrian artist Shirley Pace.
The 81-year-old, who came out of retirement to complete the project, will be in Dorchester on Saturday to watch her one-and-a-half tonne creation installed.
Shirley created the dray horse in clay in a barn in Donnington, West Suxxes.
It took six weeks to complete with the artist using a cherry picker to reach the top of him before it went to the foundry in Wales.
Shirley, from West Ashling near Chichester, West Sussex, said: “I absolutely loved creating him. He took over my life for those six weeks.
“I lived it and breathed it. “He was everything to me. I worked on him from 9am to 5pm every single day for six weeks.
“My family were not only forbearing, but endlessly supportive.”
She added: “I certainly didn’t think I would see the day that I’d watch a horse of mine being pulled through Dorchester.
“I just thought that my little horse was just going to be something peripheral to this development such is the sheer scale of it.
“I shall be so proud to see him in place.”
Mr Wadsworth said the horses which will transport the statue through the town are no strangers to the big occasion, having been involved in the opening ceremony for the London Olympics in 2012.
The installation is just part of a busy weekend programme for Brewery Square with families invited to come and take on an Easter egg hunt at the site from Friday to Sunday with prizes up for grabs.
Mr Wadsworth said: “The Easter egg hunt will be happening at the same time so we are expecting a busy weekend.”
More details on the Easter egg hunt are available online at brwerysquare.com or from the site’s concierge opposite Dorchester South train station.