LEICESTER’S city centre streets are due to come alive this month with a breathtaking festival showcasing live performances, street arts, interactive fun and the UK’s largest puppet.
City Festival 2022 takes place over the August Bank Holiday weekend, offering a two-day programme packed with events, activities and attractions suitable for all ages and tastes.
The spectacle will take place at sites throughout the city centre including Humberstone Gate, Clock Tower, Jubilee Square, Church Gate, Town Hall Square and Green Dragon Square near Leicester Market.
A centrepiece of the spectacle will be the UK’s largest puppet – a folklore-styled towering 10-metre giant, which will tour the streets of the city centre accompanied by flashmob-styled performances and music along the route.
On Saturday, August 27, Storm’s journey begins at Town Hall Square at 12noon, travelling to the Clock Tower where she will be met with sizzling samba rhythms from Leicester’s Sambando at 2.30pm, before a climactic performance by dancers from Studio 79 to mark the end of Storm’s journey at Jubilee Square at 3.55pm.
On Sunday Storm’s route will see the colossus travelling from The Circle outside the Mattioli Woods Building in Welford Place, accompanied by the thunderous Japanese drumming of Leicester Taiko at 12noon.
Indian dance company Nupur Arts will lead Storm to the farewell finale at the Clock Tower at 1.15pm, with a parade of ocean friends, showcasing Indian Classical, Bollywood and Indian Folk dance.
Throughout the Saturday and Sunday, there will also be a packed programme of interactive play, exploration and discovery.
From 12noon till 5pm on Saturday, Jubilee Square will host activities including Plankton by Enter Edem, where visitors can explore the micro-beauty of the oceans with interactive puppetry workshops, bringing the story of this unseen world to life.
The Bees offers an engaging installation of multi-sensory hives, each hiding a unique, unexpected interior world. It takes place at 12noon, 2pm and 4pm, while Focus offers free art activities and games, including designing a banner, making a green pledge and joining in with family games.
Humberstone Gate will host The Whale, where visitors can step inside a giant silver whale to experience a fun, immersive mini show for intrepid sailors of all ages, in a relaxed, family-friendly and ramp-accessible way. The Whale will be open from 11am till 1.30pm, and 2.30pm to 5pm.
Ocho the ground-breaking inflatable octopus will also be strutting its stuff, curling and swaying its way through the city’s streets at 12.30pm, 3pm and 4.30pm.
Sunday’s programme of events runs from 12noon to 4.30pm, and includes Mayfly at the Clock Tower - a spectacular fusion of water, dance and song which sees the stage come to life with water effects and leaping fountains. There is also an interactive workshop after the first performance at 12noon to learn more from those involved in the creation, and a touch tour for visitors with visual impairments, which can be booked by contacting email@example.com
The Bewonderment Machine, in High Street at 12noon, 2pm and 4pm, creates a miniature theatrical flight of the imagination, combining puppetry, machinery, hand-carved wooden animals and music on a cycle-powered carousel, while a Sweep of Swallows paints the city skies with colour, movement, and the sweet sound of birdsong.
Open Streets at Town Hall Square, Green Dragon Square and Church Gate will showcase Cyclone Works’ crazy bikes, offer rickshaw rides, and a chance to try out an adapted bike or grab a ride on a Santander Cycles Leicester e-bike. There will also be guided walks and led rides, fix-it sessions from Dr Bike, and an extreme mountain biking display. Open Streets runs from 1pm to 4pm.
Leicester City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “The City Festival is one of the most popular events in Leicester’s summer programme, and I’m delighted to see once again that it promises a packed programme of family-friendly fun in the heart of the city.
“All the events at the City Festival are free to take part in, which is particularly important given the position many families find themselves in at the end of the summer holidays and feeling the pressures of the cost of living crisis.
“I hope people take advantage of what is on offer and enjoy the weekend.”
City Festival is the climax of Leicester’s Summer in the City season of events, which has also included the The World Reimagined, Caribbean Carnival, National Play Day, Journeys Festival, Belgrave Mela and the City Beach.
For more details visit: City Festival - Visit Leicester