Guernsey Press

Street Festival returns with colourful parade through Town

A FORTNIGHT of entertainment in Town got under way this weekend as the Guernsey Street Festival opened with a parade full of colour, music and exotic costumes.

Street Festival volunteers, performers and artists took part in a parade from the Sunken Gardens to Market Square. The theme for the first day was Circus & Animals. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 32348660)

A flamingo, hippopotamus and dinosaur joined a band from the Boys’ Brigade, Majorettes and other local and visiting performers for the parade which started at the Sunken Gardens and made its way down Le Truchot and through the High Street to the Market.

For the next two weeks, the commercial centre of St Peter Port will be alive with all forms of street performance, including music, art, theatre, dance, food and crafts.

Among the performers will be jazz musicians Fidgety Feet, a strolling Dixieland fun band made up of Steve Nutter from Leicestershire, Mike Spalding from Lincolnshire, and Dave Leithead from Nottinghamshire.

‘We’ve been coming over here for years, from the earliest days of the old [Town] Carnival in the 1990s.

‘It’s always great to come to Guernsey. We enjoy playing in the streets and meeting people. Over the years we’ve made a few friends over here,’ said Mr Nutter.

‘I’m sure we’ll enjoy this week just as much as we always do. We’re over for the first week of the festival – we go back on Saturday,’ said Mr Spalding.

Andrew Pouteaux was dressed as a pink flamingo.

‘When we go around here we’re trying to draw attention to the start of the Street Festival, an amazing festival, and I thought how can we really draw attention to ourselves other than looking completely stupid. You can’t get much more stupid than an inflatable flamingo,’ he said.

Mr Pouteaux has been involved in the organisation of street entertainment in Town for nearly two decades. He said an influx of new committee members in recent years had injected ‘new, clever and refreshing ideas’ which would provide two weeks of ‘superb entertainment for everybody’.

Street Festival chairwoman Claire Dawson said there would be more than 500 hours of entertainment until the last day on 5 August.

‘We’re here primarily to support local artists, whether musicians, visual artists, dramatic artists and so on.

‘We’ve got some training for people who want to come through and do busking. We’re trying to encourage people to come into Town, shop locally and get a lovely atmosphere in Town.

‘We provide busking licences to our performers so that they continue their work and spreading joy throughout the summer.’

She was dressed as a hippopotamus for the parade.

‘I’ve never been a hippo before. Usually I’m really hot and red-faced by the end of the parade, so this time I thought I’d hide in this costume,’ she said.