Rain didn’t dampen spirits at the second Knowle West Fest – with crowds turning out in force to enjoy the day’s activities at Filwood Community Centre.
The event was a celebration of different ages, cultures and talents across the area – including performances, stalls, local food and health activities.
There was a strong sense of community spirit with people coming together to show their solidarity against racism – with 200 biodegradable balloons released into the air by Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees.
He said: “It’s amazing for people to come out and make a statement….People have come together today and enjoyed themselves and you can’t put a value on that.”
Mr Rees also added his handprint to a board as part of the community campaign against racism – and said he would be taking one to his office in the council house.
The event was run by Knowle West Together – a group of local organisations working with residents to improve the area.
Chief Executive of re:work, Vicky Beckwith, who coordinated the day said: “It’s been wonderful… I’m really happy people have got to see the community centre as it should be – for the community enjoying themselves. You look around and this is what community is about.”
Performances by young people from XLR at Knowle West Media Centre on an outdoor stage were brought into the hall in the afternoon due to the rain. The talent ended with displays from young people from the Filwood Community Centre dance and drama group.
Popular were the bicycle-powered smoothie maker and the animal handling area – where people had the chance to hold a variety of creatures from the Wriggly Roadshow – including a snake, blue-tongued skink and baby hedgehogs.
In the health zone children could make fruit kebabs with Knowle West Children’s Centre (KWCC) or get their hands dirty and create a garden. There were also adult health checks and the local Health Champions providing information as well as the chance to try hula hooping or skipping outside.
The six winners of the Knowle West Front Gardens Competition were also announced – they had been picked from 90 nominations across the area.
Leee Clarke (33) from Inns Court said of the day: “It’s been brilliant, there’s something for everyone…I’ve enjoyed everything, music, the cafe, the stage talent and all the different things that are happening in the area – and most of all the little children performing.
“It’s diversity – that’s what this area needs and it’s been needing for a while. People who normally wouldn’t speak to each other have been chatting…”
And Barny Shakespeare (66) from Filwood said he had thoroughly enjoyed the event and the fact it had brought everyone together.
“…What I like best is that they are doing something in Knowle. The people look after each other here, I reckon it’s a beautiful community, I wouldn’t live anywhere else…”