Cheltenham — members of the public gathered in the sunshine at Pittville Park on Saturday (11 June 2022) for Lives of Colour’s first ever Culture Festival for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.
On a mission to celebrate different cultures around the world, Lives of Colour treated members of the public to entertainment throughout the day including a performance by Pittville School, Bachatta, Salsa, and Merengue dance with Salsadelso, a Kenyan Lingala band, and Bollywood dance. The event closed with the dulcet tones of local band Swing from Paris.
A number of vendors were also at the event offering delicious East African and Arabic food, face painting and henna. Visual Artist and Nyabingy Drummer, Kulcha Lee also offered a drumming workshop for children. Kids could also win prizes from Lives of Colour for best dancer and best traditional dress.
This free event was made possible thanks to funding from the National Lottery Community Fund, Arts Council Let’s Create Jubilee Fund, and generous sponsorship and support from Spirax Sarco and Cheltenham Borough Council. There was a large crowd throughout the afternoon and evening enjoying both the festivities and the weather.
Lives of Colour is an organisation based in Cheltenham whose purpose is to elevate the voices of marginalized communities fostering equity, equality, and inclusion by providing strategic solutions for communities, organizations and statutory agencies through education, events, and training.
Founder of Lives of Colour Florence Nyasamo-Thomas said: “To celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee through the Commonwealth theme means that ethnically and culturally diverse communities can be represented and brings everyone together to celebrate culture. To see this come together is wonderful and to have the support of local organisations and business such as Cheltenham Borough Council and Spirax Sarco has been very encouraging and uplifting for our communities.”
(Florence, pictured second from the right in blue)
Wanja, a vendor at the event and owner of Wanja and Daughters Authentic East African Food said “This event is amazing. It’s about time and this should happen every year. It’s something that helps people see and celebrate culture. Especially after Covid we need something that is lively and brings people together.”
Keya, a member of African Jambo Band from London said “We are happy to be in Cheltenham today, just to experience the atmosphere. It’s so different from London and we are looking forward to performing and getting everyone dancing.”
(Keya, pictured second from the right in the blue outfit)
See and download photos from the event here.