December 12 2013 Latest news:
Saturday, October 19, 2013
A colourful kaleidoscope of music, art, history, food and more is entertaining people of all ages today as the Magdalen-Augustine Celebration takes place in Norwich.
Festival fun is filling the Magdalen Street and St Augustine’s Street areas for the annual event which this year has the themes creativity, sustainability and diversity.
An eclectic mix of music can be heard from an array of venues - with everything from acoustic sets at the King of Hearts to the Americana Future Radio Stage in Anglia Square to world music under the flyover - meanwhile other activities include heritage, vintage and world food tours and a pop-up museum at the Octagon Chapel.
Stefi Barna, one of the organisers of the celebration, said: “It’s the biggest one we have had yet. I’ve been around all 15 venues and they are all busy. We have had everything from classical music to children’s storytelling to Cuban salsa music.
“The main thing for me is how people turn out from the whole city to celebrate what is different about Magdalen Street. I do not know of another festival where you have so many different types of events all for free.
“Each year is bigger than the last - this year it is probably about 50pc bigger than last year. It’s nice to come to together and have a party and celebrate our diversity.”
Ro Seekings, from Magdalen Street, and Ally Williams, from the north of the city, are running the Big Free Doodle under the flyover where people of all ages are encouraged to get creative and make colourful artwork.
Ro said: “I wanted to be involved in the celebration because I live in Magdalen Street and I think the event is really important because it is all about bringing the community together and celebrating what is happening here.
“I love Magdalen Street because of its diversity. It is so different and everything you need is here. It’s nice.”
Beth and Alice Crowley, five and three, were among those drawing pictures and they were at the event with their mum Helen Crowley, 34, and their younger sister Jenny, one.
Mrs Crowley, who lives in Constitution Hill, said: “The girls like the drawing, and they have made a medieval coin at St Saviour’s Church.
“It’s nice to take part in what is going on in the local community and it’s good to see inside some of the buildings that you usually walk past.
“I think the celebration is a great way to bring some attention to Magdalen Street and this area. There is quite a lot going on here and a lot of different shops. There’s a bit of variety.”
Along with the Big Free Doodle, the Taiko Drumming has been among the performances to draw a big crowd under the flyover.
The area was also transformed into an imaginary swimming pool as performers donning swimming caps and goggles attempted to dive into the area in a special site-responsive dance performance.
Another one of the venues involved in today’s celebrations is St Clement’s Church, run by the Norwich Historic Churches Trust, where people can step back into the 14 Century with the Norwich and Norfolk Medieval Association. Medieval weaving, games, archery, illuminated lettering and more are on display.
For six-year-old Alex Crowe, from Thorpe St Andrew, it was learning about the medieval weapons that he found especially exciting.
Alex was at the celebrations with his grandmother Rosie Vanstone, who lives in Colegate.
She said: “The Magdalen Street Festival is a good idea because it gives people a chance to have a look and see what’s in Magdalen Street - and there’s quite a lot.”
The venues hosting events for the Magdalen-Augustine Celebration include: Octagon Chapel/Martineau Hall, St Clement’s Church, King of Hearts, Aladdin’s, Loose’s, St Saviour’s Church, Under the Flyover, Anglia Square, Blueberry Music House, EPIC, Mod One, St Augustine’s Church, St Augustine’s Hall, St Augustine’s Plain and St Augustine’s Street.
• The festival runs until 5pm today. For more details visit www.magdalenstreet.blogspot.com