Published in Sheffield Star, Monday 20 June 2011 11:21
THERE’S something special about Heeley Festival.
Something that makes it stand out from similar events.
Maybe it’s the colourful bunch of people who attend – visitors from every walk of life gather there from punks to priests, Rastafarians to revolutionaries.
The latter came in the shape of Sheffield campaigner Alistair Tice who took a day off from starting the revolution to man a stall calling for people to oppose the government’s NHS changes.
Will you ever stop protesting Alistair?
“Can’t see it,” he replied. “You don’t retire in this game, there will be no pension for me – mind you the way things are going this Government will ensure there’s no pension for any one.”
Attractions which brought the big crowds flocking to Heeley Green included the wonderful food on offer.
Tasty West Indian jerk chicken, the best samosas this side of the Himalayas and good old-fashioned meaty burgers all went down a storm.
Talented dancers, aged from tots to teenagers, from Stepping Out and Jane’s Dancers also kept the visitors entertained.
The Boomshanka Belly Dancers also threw some very well rounded shapes to the delight on onlookers.
And music fans were treated to the sounds of a host of bands taking a turn on the main stage.
There was falconry, face painting, go-karts, fairground rides, archery, street dance instruction and drum workshops with Bongo Bert.
Off-road cycle lessons courtesy of Recycle Bikes were very popular with dozens of young lads trying out the bikes – which all looked brand new but are on sale at second hand prices.
Paul Allard, who manages the project based on Thirwell Road, Heeley, said: “We are an independent, not-for-profit bike project and we specialise in lots of different things including recycled bike sales, service and repair, youth and adult training, ride programmes and much, much more.
“Youngsters grow out of bikes so quickly and we thought it might be a good idea to recycle them for other children to enjoy.”
But little Daniella Brown, aged five, and her sister Daniella, three, were more interested in the bight orange gorilla that was handing hugs out left right and centre.
Mum Tammy said: “We used to live in Heeley but flitted to Kimberworth last year. But there was no way we were going to miss the festival.
“It might have taken us an hour to get here but it was well worth it.”