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Festival fun at Norwich's Magdalen Street

PUBLISHED: 16:13 04 October 2010

East Meets East drummers entertain the shoppers and visitors during the Magdalen Street Celebration event on saturday.

East Meets East drummers entertain the shoppers and visitors during the Magdalen Street Celebration event on saturday.

Archant © 2010; 01603 772434

Shoppers and people living near a bustling city centre street were treated to a colourful spectacle as musicians, Morris dancers, face painters and other entertainers and stall holders descended on the city to bring the community out in the sunshine.

Shoppers and people living near a bustling city centre street were treated to a colourful spectacle as musicians, Morris dancers, face painters and other entertainers and stall holders descended on the city to bring the community out in the sunshine.

The Magdalen Street Celebration, which took place on Saturday, aimed to highlight the creativity and diversity of the area, bringing people together to learn about the area’s history at the same time as celebrating its present and working for a better future.

Among the attractions were the Norwich Taiko Centre contemporary Japanese drummers, whose powerful rhythms filled the street and attracted scores of people.

The Golden Star Morris group, which is based in Norwich, also performed some dances in Anglia Square with handkerchiefs and bells, and local artists displayed their work in empty shop units along the road.

Amanda Aldridge, 38, who lives in Norwich, had bought her five-year-old daughter Kiki-Jean Shalders to watch the events. She said: “The drumming is fantastic – we just got off the bus to meet my mum and this was all happening so we thought we would come and watch, as Kiki loves music.

“We’ve really enjoyed it and she’s had the opportunity to make her own puppet. I love this area and with all the empty shops and things at the moment, it’s really nice to see it brought to life.”

Another feature of the day was a secrets wall, on which people were asked to stick notes about their views on Magdalen Street – both the positive and the negative.

Lynn Howe, who was one of the volunteers who helped to organise the Transition Norwich event, which was run in association with local traders and residents, said: “I’m going to compile a document of all these different views after the event and send a copy to the council, and to local traders.

“There have been some very interesting points made – some people have said that they love the area because it’s so diverse, but others have said that it is too narrow for pushchairs and wheelchairs, for example.”

A wellbeing event gave people the opportunity to ask advice on wellbeing, as well as borrow a “human book” – someone who has chosen to represent a group of people to dismiss stereotypes and is asked questions by the “reader”, or member of the public, who wants to find out about their experiences.

There were also history tours, dance acts, charity and craft stalls and refreshments.

Stefi Barna, one of the organisers, said: “It has been absolutely fabulous – it’s been a really nice bringing together of all different members of the community.

“It’s a very diverse community and there has been something for everybody.

“We are hoping to hold it annually and really want more people to get involved.”


If you would like more information, visit www.magdalenstreet.blogspot.com or look up Magdalen Street Celebration on Facebook.

Are you doing something for the community? Contact Sam Emanuel on 01603 772438 or email sam.emanuel@archant.co.uk

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