Festival fun for crowds at annual celebration

Heeley Festival 2012
Heeley Festival 2012

COLOURFUL fancy dress, live music and a host of fun activities were the order of the day when Sheffield’s Heeley Festival returned once again.

Despite lingering rain clouds and the occasional shower, crowds were still out in force to enjoy the event, which has been running for more than 30 years.

The festival began with its traditional opening procession from the Heeley Institute on Gleadless Road to the Millennium Park. Many brought flags to wave and dressed in outlandish costumes to celebrate the Olympics.

Audiences were entertained with performances from bands and dance troupes on the main stage in the park, while festival-goers young and old were wowed by birds of prey demonstrations.

The hungry crowds were also kept well-fed courtesy of stalls selling delicious food from around the world.

Over in Heeley City Farm, children got the chance to stroke cute baby animals.

Sarah Hardy, the farm’s events co-ordinator, said attendance was impressive after ‘a bit of a slow start’.

“We had a little bit of a rain shower right at the beginning, but after the clouds cleared lots of people turned out and it was really successful in the end,” Sarah said.

The festival originally started at the farm but has since expanded around Heeley.

“It just gets bigger and bigger every year. We have more co-ordination now with all of the local organisations in Heeley,” said Sarah.

“I like the fact that everybody comes together to celebrate all the things we do in Heeley. It’s such a diverse community.”