Scorching sun makes South End Green festival hot stuff

Hundreds of people turned out for the Hampstead Heath Summer Festival on one of the hottest days of the year on Sunday.

South End Green was swarming with people of all ages, as the village was closed to traffic. Bunting zigzagged across the road and traders manned crowded stalls in the blazing sunshine as temperatures topped 29C.

Freshly cooked food, clothes and jewellery were all on offer, along with face painting for children.

Renata Giacobazzi and her husband Raff, run Giacobazzi’s Delicatessen in Fleet Road. She said: “We feel very blessed. The weather has been fantastic. It’s great to see everyone enjoying themselves.

“In Italy everyone knows each other in the village and it’s been a bit like that here today, with everyone looking out for each other.”

Wasel Ali, of Paradise Indian restaurant in South End Road, paid for Indian dancers to perform in the street. He said: “I sponsored and invited them and the women on stilts, to bring a bit of vibrancy to the event. When would you see such a dance in the middle of Hampstead? It’s very bizarre and good fun.”

Robert Molinari, an officer at Camden Council, said the event had been a success because of the partnership between traders, the Town Hall and police. He had been there since 6.30am to ensure the event ran smoothly.

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Chris Philp the Conservative candidate in last year’s General Election, was also there, helping on the Conservatives’ book stall.

He said: “It’s fantastic. I’ve lived here for 11 years and it’s the biggest festival we’ve had in that time.”

Amjad Butragueno, chairman of the Hampstead Heath Community Association, said: “We raised thousands of pounds for charity.”