In the park
IF LOUGHBOROUGH were a village the same size as Mountsorrel then half the residents would have, at some point, been in Queen’s Park last Saturday.
The weather held and the people came, with estimates of up to 4,000 visitors throughout the afternoon. For an event that aims to be an artsbased version of a ‘village fete’, but in a town, that is a reasonable turnout!
Queen’s Park was packed with stalls and activities this year. For the more adventurous there were a host of physical activities to engage with provided by Above and Beyond, the Scouts and Charnwood Borough Council.
With more than 40 stalls there was plenty to engage people wanting to buy food or gifts, play games and find information or opportunities to sign up to new activities.
The ‘Flapper Election’ tent was set up by Loughborough Library Local Studies Volunteers to commemorate the 1929 election – the first at which full and equal voting rights were established.
In a mirroring of that election Ramsey MacDonald, announced by the BID chair Les Cope-Newman, once again achieved a majority of votes.
With nearly ten hours of entertainment there was a lot to see - International Street Artist award winner Jason Maverick was a big hit with young and old, as were Irish folk band Kelly’s Heroes and SkaAmanga. Colour, drumming and movement were added by performers and costumes of the Taking Flight tour of the East Midlands carnival network (EMCCAN).
Morris teams from Bare Bones and Way of the Wyrd brought colour, music and life to the bandstand area that also hosted two performances of Rapunzel by Chorus Theatre.
The main stage area also saw performances of tribal dance, music from the combined Boys and Girls Brigades and a moving violin performance from Alexander Black plus drum solos from eight-year-old Max Holmes.
Maria’s Little Singers provided charm and the wonderful drummers of Sileby Slappers added rhythm.
Charnwood Arts has had a lot of positive feedback on the event.
A spokesperson for the organisation said: “This is an event that has so far refused to go away and there is one simple reason for that.
“It’s not just about what’s on offer – it operates on a relative shoe string – it’s the simple desire of people to be able to come out to something where there are others, where families are welcome and a sense of community persists – thank you Loughborough for your support!”
■ EMCCAN Performers - Taking Flight Tour. Photo by Kevin Ryan.
■ The Flapper Election. Picture by Karl Tiisler
■ A fine day for the crowds. Picture by Karl Tiisler
■ Jason Maverick. Picture by Kevin Ryan
■ Bare Bones and Way of the Wyrd. Photo by Karl Tiisler
■ Taking Flight. Picture by Karl Tiisler
■ Maria’s Little Singers. Photo by Karl Tiisler
■ Sileby Slappers. Photo by Karl Tiisler
■ Rapunzel with Chorus Theatre. Picture by Kevin Ryan
■ A meeting of three civic dignitaries. Photo by Karl Tiisler
■ Alexander Black on Violin. Photo by Kevin Ryan
■ Ska-Amanga. Photo by Karl Tiisler
■ Tony Duggan of Kelly’s Heroes. Photo by Kevin Ryan
■ Mayor of Charnwood, Coun Christine Harris, opens the event. Picture by Kevin Ryan