What to look forward to at your free Peterborough Celebrates Festival

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Peterborough Celebrates Festival returns to Ferry Meadows for its third year in just over a week’s time, with a jam-packed schedule of performances and activities.

Festival goers can kick off the weekend with four incredible film showings in the Big Top Cinema on Thursday, May 16th, and Friday (17th). Enjoy Wonka, Grease Sing-A-Long, Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical Sing-A-Long and The Rocky Horror Picture Show across both evenings, with prizes awarded for the best fancy dress at each film.

These film shows are ticketed events with tickets purchased via the Nene Park website: www.nenepark.org.uk/big-top-cinema.

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The full festival begins properly on the Saturday (May 18th) with a packed programme of performances, sights, sounds and activities.

The line-up is complete for the spectacular Peterborough Celebrates Festival weekendThe line-up is complete for the spectacular Peterborough Celebrates Festival weekend
The line-up is complete for the spectacular Peterborough Celebrates Festival weekend

Starting at 11am and running until 8pm, performance highlights include the spectacular acrobatic group Mimbre with their show Weight(less), The hilarious Dizzy O’Dare with Kevin Tickle’s Dogs, a dog show like no other (no dogs for a start!); Mandinga Arts performing in the Creative Dome, as part of Peterborough Presents’ 10 th birthday celebrations; Pif-Paf and their family theatre show SEED and Xidus Pain, the rap performance artist showcasing new young talent on the main stage.

Alongside these professional acts, enjoy performances from community groups such as Peterborough Ukrainian Community, Bharat Hindu Samaj, Ritu Ranga, Willow singers, U3A, Wansford Ukulele Folk and students from Thomas Deacon Academy, Peterborough Centre for Young Musicians, Peterborough College and UCP.

The main stage on the Saturday evening will feature two up and coming local performers brought to the festival by BBC Introducing through the festival’s media partnership with BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.

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On the Sunday, the festival programme runs from 10.30am until 4pm, beginning with Rise and Shine yoga on the main stage followed by music and performances from local groups such as Red Letter Crew and their fusion of Afro Jazz and poetry, East Timor Dance, Peterborough Opera, Gabriella Pineda Rodrigues with her ever- popular Family Concert, music from The Polish Music School, Kastinitis, the Latvian Children’s Dance Group and Shiamak Bollywood Dance and Jumped Up Theatre.

Peterborough Celebrates Festival returns on May 18 and 19Peterborough Celebrates Festival returns on May 18 and 19
Peterborough Celebrates Festival returns on May 18 and 19

Peterborough Pride will be putting on a high energy variety show in the Big Top and professional dance duo Vanhulle bring their show Olive Branch to delight the festival crowd.

At 3.45pm, the festival finale will be marked with a traditional Hindu Holi Colour ceremony where the public will be invited to throw coloured paints and streamers in joyful celebration – a fitting end to a weekend of celebrating our city.

Alongside the wide range of performances on the Main Stage, Big Top and new Hay Bale Stage, there will be walkabout acts around the festival site including Autin Dance Theatre bringing Brimstone the Dragon, MegaBeast and their tree-mendous tree people and local poets Sandy Wardrop and Kat Beeton creating pop up poetry with festival-goers.

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Visitors can also join in with the silent disco in the Big Top on Saturday or budding performers can try their hand at busking at the bar tent stage.

There is so much more to discover across the festival site throughout the weekend too. Take part in have-a-go sporting activities in the ’Love Sport and Adventure’ zones; have fun on the fairground rides; find out more about different Peterborough community groups and organisations; admire the thousands of decorated love hearts that have been created by schools and community groups across the city in the ‘Community Heart art installation’; meet some of the sheep that graze the Nene Park Rural Estate; find out more about Nene Park Trust, try your luck on the ‘human fruit machine’ and soak up the festival atmosphere with food and drink from our diverse range of vendors.

Parking for the festival will be available onsite at Ferry Meadows (parking charges apply) with FREE parking offered at Railworld Wildlife Haven in the city centre.

Festival-goers parking at Railworld will be able to catch a shuttle train with the Nene Valley Railway for £2 return per person, with trains running throughout Saturday and Sunday.

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For the full line up, visit www.peterboroughcelebratesfestival.co.uk

The festival is being run by Nene Park Trust, with the support of key organisations across Peterborough and an enthusiastic team of volunteers bringing it to life. The festival is FREE to attend thanks to support from many festival sponsors including Hegarty Solicitors.

Stephanie Peachey, Head of Visitor Engagement for Nene Park Trust says: “With just over a week to go now, our staff and volunteers are working hard to pull together the final bits of preparation to make yet another festival weekend to remember. We are really looking forward to welcoming you all to the festival and can promise you a feel-good weekend which celebrates our great city and everything we love about it.”

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