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For the second year running, Peterborough Celebrates Festival held at Ferry Meadows over the weekend of May 19-21 has been declared a resounding success - and we couldn't agree more!

ESP went along on both days and it was great event to have in Peterboorugh's calendar, kicking off festival season in style and truly celebrating our wealth of local talent.

The festival kicked off on Friday May 19 with a Singing Schools workshop and performance in the Big Top led by Peterborough and Cambridgeshire Music Hubs and involving around 60 children from Woodston, William Law and Orton Wistow Primary Schools. A public launch event for the festival followed with opening speeches and music, before the Big Top welcomed 300 lucky ticket holders to watch and participate in a singalong screening of The Greatest Showman.

Saturday May 20 and Sunday May 21 saw beautiful sunshine and festival visitors flocking to enjoy free performances and a wide range of activities for all the family. Nene Park Trust estimates that around 23,000 people attended the festival across the weekend.

In addition, Nene Valley Railway reported that 515 tickets were sold for the festival shuttle train service.

Throughout the weekend, visitors were treated to a wide range of performances, such as music, theatre, dance, and activities including art and community workshops and have-a-go sports and games. In total there were 47 different acts of which 42 were from Peterborough and the surrounding area, providing 36 hours of free live entertainment!

Performers ranged from local music and dance groups such as Peterborough Flute Choir, Singer Gabriella Pineda Rodrigues and Indian dance group Ritu Ranga to renowned professional acts such drumming group Punjabi Roots Academy, walkabout performers Autin Dance Theatre and the amazing festival highlight Motionhouse with their gravity defying dance-circus performance of WILD on a purpose built stage.

Community groups from across Peterborough were at the heart of the festival. 12 different community groups decorated 2m x 2m ‘Colour Cubes’ which were dotted around the festival site for visitors to discover and explore. The Field of Colour installation had an amazing impact with 4,490 flowers made from recycled bottles by 56 different groups.

Following the festival, the installation was carefully dismantled and all the flowers have been returned to the groups or redistributed to other community projects.

The Festival couldn’t have run without the generous National Lottery funding from The Arts Council and Nene Park Trust and corporate sponsorship from Cross Keys Homes, Perkins, Greenwoods, Savills, Hegarty Solicitors, We Love Peterborough, Term Times family magazine, The Peterborough School and Bellway Homes.

Feedback is still coming in but here is what two festival-goers said: “Amazing stalls, amusements and performances from diverse backgrounds. Loving the strong community spirit!” and “So nice for all of Peterborough to Celebrate!! Wonderful City of Wonderful People.”

Stephanie Peachey, Head of Visitor Engagement for Nene Park Trust and Peterborough Celebrates Festival Director said, “We are absolutely delighted that the festival was so successful and that so many people had such a great time. We had perfect weather and thanks to a huge effort by our staff, volunteers and the Peterborough community we enjoyed a feel-good celebration of the talent, diversity and many different communities of our fantastic city. Thank you to all our festival visitors too for coming along and celebrating the city with us over the weekend.”

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