BERNARD WINCHESTER highlights the many varied activities to be found on the opening weekend of the South Norwood Arts Festival, from Olympic torches to WG Grace
After missing out in 2012 (perhaps the Olympic organisers felt that the competition from south London might have proved too much), just like Glastonbury, the South Norwood Arts Festival returns this year with a bigger programme than ever spanning the next fortnight, beginning this morning.
The Festival will include dance, poetry, crafts, music and more, with a finale on Sunday July 14 on Woodside Green.
The events this weekend give a taste of how the community is coming together to participate in the festival.
This morning, the charity Wheels for Wellbeing are offering cycling sessions at the Croydon Sports Arena, followed in the afternoon by Croydon Harriers Give It A Go-Lympics, where everyone can get active in fun relays and games, and even be photographed with coach Mike Fleet’s Olympic torch. There will be refreshments and a celebration BBQ (which will not be lit by the Olympic torch…).
More sports are offered from 11.15am to 2pm by Crystal Palace Football Club, who are hosting a challenging Health and Fitness Day for over 16s at the Selhurst Park ball court, with bleep tests, station fitness runs and walking football.
The Ryelands School Fair takes place today, where they are holding a Countries From Around The World celebration from noon till 3pm with a Bouncy Castle, Terror Slide, Gladiator Duel and Quad Bikes, while the grown-ups enjoy Caribbean food and the school’s steel pan band.
After an active day, festival goers will be able to chill out to live music at the Yeha Noha Cafe, who are also hosting Mug And Tile Painting sessions between 12noon and 4pm on Sunday, June 30.
Also on Sunday there will be a very special opportunity to meet the notable residents of Beckenham Cemetery, including journalist-explorer William Stanley, cricketer W G Grace and Thomas Crapper (yes, the man who invented the flushing lavatory). This will be on a tour led by local historian John Hickman, meeting at 2.30pm by the Harrington Road Tramstop.
Another musical evening will follow from 7pm at The Gold Coast Bar & Restaurant, with a performance by the Ozimzim Band.
- The full festival programme can be downloaded here
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