Thousands are expected to flock to Central St Leonards on Saturday 11th July to enjoy a day of free festival fun. This year’s annual St Leonards Festival celebrates circus, drumming and the 1950s in a whirlwind of entertainment. Circus performers, drummers, lindy hoppers, dancers, bands and choirs will converge on Warrior Gardens to provide entertainments and activities for 10,000 anticipated festival-goers.
In the ‘Big Top Zone’ you’ll find an aerial rig from Pulse Circus and live circus performers from Hastings Guerrilla Circus, along with clowns, aerial artists, stilt-walkers and face painters. You’ll get the chance to try a few circus skills for yourself too.
On the main stage, community groups, choirs, dancers and bands, including Oudolin, Vocal Explosion, Hastings Children’s Choir, Saving Strike and others, showcase their talents during the afternoon. There will be a unique performance from a group of Mayotte dancers visiting from Lille especially for St Leonards Festival (Mayotte is a tiny island in the Indian Ocean) and Kathak Dance from Sujata Banerjee. Later in the day, there will be 1950’s inspired sounds from fantastic bands, including the 12-piece Swing Street Band, Jessie Pie and the Thorne, and The Protagonists, with brilliantly energetic jive from the Cinque Port Lindy Hoppers. The festival closes with a set from local music maestro, Blair.*
A highlight of the day will be two performances of the awe-inspiring, humorous ‘Roadworks’, a BMX / street dance fusion by Etta Ermini Dance Company. Local BMXers and skateboarders are invited to display their skills on a skate ramp supplied and managed by King Ramps.
Pop-up street circus acts along Kings Road will merge with drummers, acrobats, stilt-walkers, dancers and community groups for a parade at 3pm, starting on the seafront and merging to circle Warrior Square, culminating in drum-off in the gardens.
There will also be market stalls, community information stands, freshly cooked food, children’s play area and more. As usual, a ‘pop up’ sandy beach will appear on St Leonards beach.
Dressing up is encouraged. This year fun-lovers are invited to don 1950’s glad rags or their very best clown attire and head down to Warrior Square and Kings Road from noon until 7.30pm.
For those who want to continue the party, a range of fringe events will take place in local venues throughout the evening. Follow StLeonardsFestival on facebook for regular updates or visit www.stleonardsfestival.org.