From Armed Forces days to wrestling & Herbal Tea Parties, it has been events galore across our city this summer. (And the best part is that there is still so much more to come!) Below, our community engagement contributor, Irene reports on her personal highlight so far.
Cast your mind back to August 23rd last year. If you were on Avenham Park that day you will have, more than likely, found yourself in the middle of a strange Disco; Disco Soup! Local chefs & residents came together to highlight the issues of food poverty & food waste by cooking fabulous meals from foodstuffs that would otherwise have gone to landfill.
The organisers’ aim is to raise awareness about this sad fact of modern life and, eventually, to set up a ‘Junk Food Café’ which will also provide training & employment opportunities for the unemployed. As a step towards this target, they held a ‘Feast for Peace’ on July 23rd this year on the Flag Market in Preston. The message of this event is:
‘If we can eat together, we can live together’.
Expert cooks produced an amazing range of international dishes, all sourced from ingredients earmarked for landfill. Amongst the cuisines represented were Malaysian, Jamaican, Indian, Polish, Czech and, of course, Lancashire! There were many stalls where a range of food was being cooked, all made from ingredients that had been donated by local supermarkets and also brought from people’s gardens & allotments. I spoke to Trisha who informed me that she had dug up some of her potatoes that morning & brought them along, although they hadn’t decided what they would make with them by that point.
Linda was busily cooking a colourful vegetarian hotpot when she showed me the Polish salad made from components including Bulghur wheat, garlic, yellow peppers & chick peas. Next to her stall were Hussain & his mother Sara from the Fishergate Hill mosque who were creating delicious-looking vegetable pakoras & onion bhajia. Other dishes on offer included flatbreads, Jamaican stew, Caribbean vegetable curry with Roti and Czech potato salad.
To complement the cosmopolitan ambience there were samba drummers, dancers, Djs & musicians. Bubbles floated into the sky by the display from the Jinack Project who are helping education in The Gambia & had by far the most colourful stall comprising wonderful rugs & cushions which served to attract people to their fundraising. More information here. http://2bab.org/en
Just off the main Flag Market, at the top of Friargate, several people in yellow T-shirts were offering free hugs whilst holding up signs with wording such as ‘You’re Beautiful’, ‘You Rock’ & ‘Why Not?’. They were a group called A Sprinkling of Happiness & their placards had originated in the USA; signed on the back by well-wishers from the States. This movement has now spread to Preston; their website is http://www.happinesssprinklingproject.org/
Events such as this celebrate the diversity of cultures in our city and, hopefully, help us all to learn a little more about each other. As Einstein once said, “Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding”.
That man knew a thing or two.
Written by Irene of Starfish English Services. #Starfish4English
Mad Hatters Herbal Tea Party
Joshua Holden, of Wolf Entertainments, organised a fun day in Miller Park which entertained, inspired & raised more than £500 for local charity, Derian House. Josh has since confirmed to Podio that he’s already organising next year’s event, #Lancsfest2017 which promises to be “bigger, better & more flamboyant!”
We can’t wait!
Have you attended any of the summer events in the city this year? Tell us your favourite moments in the comments below.