For­get the foot­ball... least Stavros Flat­ley made us all smile!

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Front Page - By NICK REINIS

GLO­RI­OUS warm sun­shine greeted the record crowds of peo­ple who turned out for the start of the Peter­bor­ough Fes­ti­val.

As the week­end tem­per­a­tures soared to the high­est for 2010, record num­bers flocked to the first two days of the fort­night long fes­ti­val.

Or­gan­is­ers be­lieve more than 20,000 peo­ple packed into the city’s Cen­tral Park to wit­ness an ar­ray of en­ter­tain­ment and many ex­cit­ing ac­tiv­i­ties.

Fes­ti­val man­ager Dave King said: “It’s been re­ally fan­tas­tic and it’s the biggest au­di­ence we have ever had. The crowds at the main stage have just been a sea of peo­ple all week­end.

“We are try­ing to bring the fes­ti­val up a few gears from pre­vi­ous years. We want to raise the game and be proud of what we can do in Peter­bor­ough.”

The fes­tiv­i­ties be­gin with the an­nual Mayor’s Car­ni­val Pa­rade which kicked off the fes­ti­val in colour­ful style.

Start­ing at the Em­bank­ment, the pa­rade marched to a bhangra beat as it made its way into the city cen­tre, where it was met by hun­dreds of on­look­ers in Cathe­dral Square.

While there, the pa­rade was joined by Mayor of Peter­bor­ough, councillor Keith Sharp, who led the pro­ces­sion along Broad­way, and into Cen­tral Park.

Af­ter declar­ing the fes­ti­val open fol­low­ing a per­for­mance by the Key Youth The­atre (KYT), Cllr Sharp said: “The peo­ple turn­ing out and wel­com­ing us in the city cen­tre and then fol­low­ing us all the way down to Cen­tral Park was bril­liant to see.

“It’s been nice meet­ing all of the many chil­dren on the dif­fer­ent floats, be­cause its peo­ple like that who make the fes­ti­val.

“The weather has been beau­ti­ful and hope­fully it will bring plenty of peo­ple out.”

Among the thou­sands of peo­ple in the crowd were proud par­ents Stephen and Sharon Smith, of Wood­ston, Peter­bor­ough.

They watched as their son, Ed­ward (20), per­formed along­side the rest of KYT.

Sharon said: “It’s such a great week­end for it be­cause the weather is so good.”

While Stephen also added: “It’s amaz­ing see­ing our son here with KYT, per­form­ing in front of so many peo­ple.”

The fes­ti­val, or­gan­ised by Vi­vac­ity, the city’s new Cul­ture and Leisure Trust, con­tin­ued through­out Satur­day with per­for­mances from the city’s X Fac­tor star Ni­cole Lawrence.

Ni­cole per­formed on the main stage be­fore hugely pop­u­lar Bri­tain’s Got Tal­ent sen­sa­tions Stavros Flat­ley en­ter­tained thou­sands of lively fans.

Councillor Matthew Lee, deputy leader of the city coun­cil and cabi­net mem­ber for cul­ture, recre­ation and strate­gic com­mis­sion­ing, was de­lighted with the start of the fes­ti­val.

He said: “We have been blessed with the weather. It was great see­ing the floats com­ing through the city for the pa­rade.

“Ev­ery year, this fes­ti­val seems to get big­ger and big­ger, and also bet­ter and bet­ter.”

Also tak­ing place for the first time this year was a ded­i­cated Teen­fest Zone in the north quar­ter of Cen­tral Park.

The area, which was set up by the city coun­cil’s young peo­ple’s ser­vice, fea­tured a range of ac­tiv­i­ties for young­sters.

It was also where the Peter­bor­ough Youth’s Got Tal­ent was staged. An ini­tial 11 acts per­formed on Satur­day, be­fore they were whit­tled down to six.

The fi­nal­ists re­turned yes­ter­day for their last chance to grab the at­ten­tion of the com­pe­ti­tion’s judges and the au­di­ence.

Lo­cal­ity man­ager for the young peo­ple’s ser­vice Javed Ahmed said: “The area was a bril­liant show­case for our city’s young­sters to show off their skills.

“We had graf­fiti boards, MCing, danc­ing, ev­ery­thing, and it came to­gether re­ally well and peo­ple re­ally loved it.”

Pic­tures: GE­ORGI MABEE

CROWD PLEASERS: Stavros Flat­ley per­form in front of thou­sands of peo­ple at Peter­bor­ough Fes­ti­val on Satur­day Evening. (METP-26-06-10GM202)

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