Brazilian carnival fever coming to Leeds as part of vibrant Beeston Festival

The Leeds Dynamite dance and cheerleading squad in full flow at a previous Beeston Festival.
The Leeds Dynamite dance and cheerleading squad in full flow at a previous Beeston Festival.
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The Rio Carnival’s vibrant colours and costumes will be the theme of a flamboyant Beeston Festival this weekend.

After months of preparation, the south Leeds suburb’s Cross Flatts Park will host a carnival parade inspired by the upcoming Rio Olympic Games before the festivities begin on Saturday from 12noon.

Caelan Bedford-Northage and Luke Bedford meet Special Constable Jas Sagu at a previous Beeston Festival.

Caelan Bedford-Northage and Luke Bedford meet Special Constable Jas Sagu at a previous Beeston Festival.

More than 100 stalls selling an array of worldly goods, a diverse live music line-up along with a fun fair and sporting activities will bring the park to life for the 22nd annual community festival.

Among the music acts performing across the event’s two stages will be Cossack folk-punk band The Ukranians, Leeds-based seven-piece Cuban salsa band Tarantismo, reggae influenced band Mojah, the Silver Steel Sparrows and Hindi and Bollywood soloist Sumana Basu.

Coun Angela Gabriel (Lab, Beeston and Holbeck), who is on the organising committee of 15 residents, said: “Beeston is gearing up for yet another great day out for all the family at Beeston Festival. Come and see Beeston at its best.”

The annual festival has been principally sponsored by Unity Homes and Enterprise this year, meaning Unity staff will be on hand during the event to offer residents free advice on housing, welfare and employment at a special stall.

Ali Akbor, Unity’s chief executive, said: “The event has become a highlight in the Leeds summer calendar and, alongside local residents, attracts many people from outside the area to celebrate what is best about Beeston.”

Beeston Festival, which will be supported by more than 60 volunteers on Saturday, has also received funding from Leeds City Council’s Inner South Community Committee, Beeston and Holbeck ward councillors, City and Hunslet ward councillors, the Big Lottery Fund and Sport Relief Community Cash.

For more on the festival, or for a full event programme, visit beestonfestival.org.

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