Inspired by the Brighton Streetfest, Peter Walsh and other dedicated, local organisers ensured that Saturday’s event was jam-packed with interesting ideas, for both old and young; the main event being the ‘awesome’ Brazilian-style samba parade. Young dancers from the Shropshire Academy of Performing Arts danced tirelessly alongside glamourous older dancers in beautifully detailed outfits, whilst inviting local children and even parents to join the fun. The drumming was energetic and well-rehearsed elevating the atmosphere- making sure that all eyes (and ears) were on this colourful parade. Huge, homemade puppets, environmental banners and balloons also livened up the closed-off streets. When the parade made its way past the local shops, even the Co-op workers came out to show support and get a ‘reduce, re-use, recycle’ sticker. According to one local family, the colours were “absolutely brilliant” and the organised street closure made it feel “so much safer”. Free bottled water provided by generous sponsors Montgomery Waters was handed out to everyone, with several recycling points to encourage people to dispose of their rubbish thoughtfully and with the environment in mind.
Later on, in the Rectory Field, musical workshops took place from talented locals, including Brian Stone who gave us some “fearsome fiddling in this fiery field” with Scottish and Irish jig music for the crowd to dance along to. An hour later we heard impressive harmonies from the public during another exciting class. As well as several other workshops, there was a ‘minibeast trail’ for the little ones around local shops, a moth presentation, and a film showing of ‘Bad Guys’ for families.
Despite losing a lot of funding, organisers battled on and, as a result, Strettfest evoked a wonderful sense of community spirit whilst educating youngsters about its environmentally positive theme in a fun and accessible way. Providing much needed fun after the pandemic and surely boosting wellbeing, Strettfest is an ideal family day out!