Basingstoke Festival

Basingstoke World Party Day

Saturday June 28, 2014.

The Tea Bar PimmsDear mummy, it’s wet and rainy in Basingstoke today. We head out to enjoy a free party at Eastrop Park in Basingstoke called ‘World Party Day’. It’s part of the larger month-long event that Basingstoke Borough Council have laid on for the public known as Basingstoke Festival.

The festival is in it’s third year and runs from the 20th June to 13th July in and around the town.

This year includes the “Going to town” programme featuring street artists and performers. It includes free big public events such as World Party Day and Basingstoke Live and small scale arts exhibitions, workshops and artwork pop-up shops.

We pick up a programme from a local shop and see that there is a lot going on this weekend in the town centre so decide to head in and check it out.

Basingstoke Festival 1We park at Basingstoke’s Festival Place and walk through the shopping centre to the park. We can hear the rain battering on the high ceilings and decide wait a while indoors looking around the shops.

We stumble on a pop-up shop for local artists displaying street art and graphic design. As my mummy is a graphic designer we pop in and have a look at all the talented local artists. Sugar skulls and gothic artwork cover the walls. Daddy is impressed.

The prices of artwork are very reasonable for a one-off piece. So mummy decides to come back and purchase some street art when she gets paid 🙂

Ducks at Eastrop ParkThe rain isn’t as heavy now so we trundle outside towards the park, we can hear the beating of drums and Bollywood style music. It’s a shame the weather has put so many people off. It’s very miserable. Some of the stands and fairground rides have closed and it’s only 3pm! The event doesn’t close until 5:30 😦 I feel bad for all the performers.

World Party Day is intended to bring all cultures of Basingstoke together through dance, music, food and workshops, unfortunately not many people have turned up. We walk past some of the stands and the performers and stop a while to look, but the rain has started again so we retreat to cover.

We head to the food stalls and pick up some Chinese food and a cocktail from Basingstoke Tea Bar. My mummy treats herself to a Pimms and sits in the soggy tent, so much for the British summer!! World Party Day has a festival vibe about it and the music is loud and proud. We meet up with one of my little friends and her mummy for a quick natter and catch-up.

My mummy reflects on when we all went last year, when I was very small and the weather was beautiful. We had a picnic and as I was only 4 months old I would lie on my back and stare at the sky with my friend.

Cakes at Eastrop ParkNow I’m up and walking but there is no dancing for me! A flu bug is doing the rounds and I don’t feel very well. I sit in my buggy all lethargic, watching the rain and as soon as Daddy picks me up for a cuddle I puke on him! Pleasant! Lucky he’s wearing waterproofs and it can just be wiped off. Just like a real festival now my Mummy thinks!! Alcohol, music, mud, rain and puke.

After this incident we head home past all the street dancers (who were very good). We will be back next year, let just hope the weather is a bit better for Basingstoke Live (another large free event) next week.

To see what’s on visit www.basingstokefestival.co.uk

Bella x

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