July 30 2014 Latest news:
Monday, July 7, 2014
A carnival atmosphere swept Hampstead as thousands enjoyed a day of food, music, art and games with the return of the Hampstead Summer Festival.
The week-long festival was once again opened with the Big Fair street party on Sunday, which occupied the top half of Heath Street, from the Tube station up, and Whitestone Pond.
The area was sealed off to traffic as cars and buses were replaced with a bustling array of stalls, two performance stages and special areas devoted to art, chess and sporting activities, along with a Ferris wheel and other fairground rides.
Janine Griffis, chairman of the Hampstead Neighbourhood Forum, which hosted one of the 100-plus stalls, said: “It was a fantastic day – and what a turnout!
“It was incredibly busy and everyone thought it was the best Big Fair ever. The organisers did a fantastic job.”
Highlights included the releasing of 1,000 balloons and a cornucopia of food stands selling all manner of munchies, while youngsters came face-to-face with birds of prey at one of the most popular stalls.
About 20,000 people attended throughout the day, helping to raise thousands for two Hampstead causes.
Although it has yet to be counted, co-organiser Els Bauer estimates the final total will reach about £20,000, to be split between Age UK Camden’s Henderson Court Resource Centre in Fitzjohns Avenue and the Keats Community Library in Keats Grove.
Ms Bauer, an estate agent from Stella Lange Property Consultants in Marty’s Yard, who lives in Flask Walk, said: “The atmosphere was fantastic!
“We had some great bands and the stalls were very colourful with a lot of choice. Every year it gets bigger and better.”
Each year, the Big Fair kicks off a week of events and activities which take place as part of the Hampstead Summer Festival.
Upcoming events include The Muse Blast at Keats House, a fun poetry workshop with Daljit Nagra, Keats House Poet in Residence, on Saturday (July 12), and a charity dance marathon raising money for underprivileged street children in Brazil at UCS Active in Frognal, also on Saturday.
Visit hampsteadsummerfestival.com for more.