Community spirit on tap as festivals take centre stage

It’s a big day for two community festivals in Sheffield on Saturday - and a busy weekend for music fans.

Heeley Festival returns for the day, while Walkley Festival begins two weeks of activities. Broomhill Festival winds up after two weeks.

Walkley Festival Launch: LtoR Veronica Hardstaff and Cllr Ben Curran with Walkley Forum chairman Grenville Wilkinson (far right) cheer on Chris Reece with his panto horse

Walkley Festival Launch: LtoR Veronica Hardstaff and Cllr Ben Curran with Walkley Forum chairman Grenville Wilkinson (far right) cheer on Chris Reece with his panto horse

Meanwhile, Mosborough Music Festival has its most ambitious line-up, on Saturday and Sunday, Sheffield Fake Festival brings together tribute and local bands under canvas in Hillsborough Park and Bradfest features two nights of blues as well as community activities.

Heeley Festival has grown over 20 years from a fun day to a wide-ranging community celebration in Millennium Park spilling over into the parish church, city farm, Anns Grove School and institute.

“As the park has developed and grown it has provided more scope for the event to grow,” said Bev Nunn, of Heeley Development Trust, which oversees Heeley Entertainments and Activities Team. “Now we have got a bike track we’ve got bike activities. We have also got a multi-use games area and a wildlife garden we can use for activities.”

Bev added: “Community festivals overall have grown, especially in diverse areas such as Heeley.”

The festival runs from noon to 5pm.

A peal of the bells of St Mary’s Church will herald the arrival of the 12th Walkley Festival, with a launch at Walkley Green, off South Road, on Saturday at 10am.

It’s the start of two weeks of events organised by Walkley Community Forum, ranging from an afternoon of folk music and a summer fair at the Buddhist Centre to an Edwardian night and a reunion of members of St Mary’s.

The history of the area is being underlined. As well as a history walk, there’s an exhibition about the campaign that halted demolition of many houses in Walkley in the 60s and 70s.

“We have more events this year than in previous years,” said forum chair Grenville Wilkinson. “We have tried to get an eclectic mix. There’s the fun day in Ruskin Park, we have now got a well-respected art exhibition, which runs for a week, and we have got lots of other things.”

Many of them are designed to appeal to younger members of the community. “We want to get as many youngsters involved because they are the future of the festival,” said Grenville.

It’s a attempt to ensure Walkley does not lose its community spirit. “One of the first comments we had was it’s like a big village fete. That’s the spirit we are trying to get, to get people involved and to encourage them to keep the area neat and tidy.”

Bradfest is a festival of local music, food and ale in Low Bradfield, with blues bands tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday night and family activities on the playing field during the day on Saturday.

Wincobank Fun Day is on Wincobank Common, off Jenkin Road, on Saturday from 1pm to 4pm.

See Listings and music page for details.