Thousands enjoy return of Stevenage Day after two years of virtual events
Georgia Barrow and Anthony Bourne
- Credit: Martin Wootton
Stevenage Day was back in full swing on Sunday after two years of scaled-down, virtual events due to the pandemic.
Children's fairground rides, bouncy castles, stalls and live music attracted thousands to King George V Playing Fields for the day, dubbed "bigger and better than ever" by organisers.
Families were able to enjoy a variety of activities, stalls and plenty of food and drink, as well as live dance performances from local groups.
Junction 7 Creatives arranged several activities for the day, working in partnership with Stevenage Borough Council and with funding from Arts Council England.
This included a carnival-style parade, driven by the Iroko Theatre Company’s percussion and songs with choreographed dance steps and costumes designed by Mandinga Arts.
Dancers and flag wavers from many different parts of the Stevenage community came together to learn a combination of modern street dance, Rio Carnival and African-style moves for the parades.
Other activities organised by Junction 7 Creatives included the Storytelling Tent, where expert storytellers Danyah Miller and Alison-Elizabeth kept a captivated audience entertained, and a virtual reality tent, where people could take part in an immersive Indian dance experience - created by Divya Kasturi.
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Stevenage Borough Council leader Sharon Taylor took to Twitter after the event.
She said: "What an AMAZING Stevenage Day yesterday, fantastic weather, brilliant entertainment, thousands of people came and there was a real spirit of celebrating the extraordinary diversity of our beloved town!"
Mayor of Stevenage, Cllr Margaret Notley, added: "What a tremendous success Stevenage Day 2022 was.
"The sun came out and the crowds came along to enjoy the delights of what the many stalls had to offer, giving a much needed boost to the many charities, who had been greatly affected over the last two years by the pandemic.
"Alongside these stalls, there were many attractions to enjoy including the wonderful displays performed by the many talented people we have in our town and by the musicians in Rock in the Park.
"I think it was just what our town needed; a great day out and I would like to thank the many people who organised such this successful Stevenage Day."