‘LIVING LIFE IN ALL ITS FULLNESS’ – ALL THE FUN AT THE FAIR
FESTIVAL OF STARS WHADDON, CHELTENHAM Saturday 11 September 2021
Our video of the event:
Festival of Stars on Whaddon Recreational Land was a MAGNIFICENT success! Thank you Hannah Green & Wayne Sedgwick of Green Spaces Development for your support of this project.
Hundreds of people from communities on either side of Whaddon Recreation Ground poured in and joined Christians giving of themselves and going the many miles to bring a celebration that we have all ached for … so much recent loss, sadness and hardship was replaced by hope, energy and new beginnings. Community groups needing volunteers for their organisations met new people and hugged friends they’d not seen for 18 months.
The stage took on a magical, supernatural quality … or was it the dry ice!!! ‘God was dancing with new zeal up in heaven and every angel was singing a new song’ said Nikki, Project Leader. The main stage was a resounding source of drama, music and dance from The Bean Baker Band, Rob Westall, Katy Treharne from Phantom of the Opera, Chip Kendall with Orbitron, the Afrobeat kids from the Cornerstone holiday workshops with new moves and drumming those beats, Folk On, Dave Wellington, Tom Elliott, a queue for the Open Mic with 1st and 2nd prizes going to girls under the age of 16, local primary school children delighted in Elmer’s Walk by Riverside Performing Arts. In addition to artists from Cheltenham, performers flew down motorways from Southampton, Manchester, Brighton, Birmingham and Wales, brimming over with excitement to perform again after the long lay-off.
There were art demos and workshops, art for sale, Vision 21, Festival Face Glitter (eco-friendly), XR Cheltenham offering a clothes exchange or simply take what you like! Cheltenham Animal Shelter organised a Dog Show with rosettes and doggy bags bringing in a whole new community on leads! Tin-crusher from the Mechanical Menagerie, football penalty shoot-out from The Rock, Open the Book tested eye-to-ball coordination with ping pong balls, questions about Jesus and mugs to winners who could answer them! Cornerstone Community Centre and St. Michael’s Church Whaddon shared their history and news of activity & courses, Pioneer Minister James White with prayer tree and toddlers’ playdoh, slides and puzzles, home crafted hair accessories and graffiti & illustration ‘Make Your Mark,’ by Tim & Amanda Martin (now on display in St. Michael’s Church, Whaddon). Our Selfie Star Fest competition was a big attraction with children jumping out of portaloos with gold stars, The Butterfly Farm in Bertie the Campervan from Janina Karpinska, Hot Dogs & Burgers from Dog Events Catering, Mr Whippy ice-cream and Hema’s Indian Kitchen offered a relish of yummy take-aways, their last orders for Folk On, our headline band, under a star filled sky and crescent moon. One huge concern in putting on an outdoor LIVE event is the weather, and that too was PERFECT!
We couldn’t have managed without our team of smiling stewards ensuring festival-goers were made warmly welcome and the Tech Crew, ably led by Dave Hughes, were key in making our stage, sound and lighting run smoothly.
Our comperes Richard Atkins, Radio Presenter, and John Swan stole the show for continuity, wit, puns and poetry!
We are thankful to our funders The National Lottery Community Fund, contributors, support team and festival-goers for their loyalty as, due to COVID, we faced 4 attempts to stage this event. With great joy we can finally say that Festival of Stars was unequivocally worth waiting for and the festival tonic we all needed.