Families flock to Millennium Square to celebrate first Child Friendly Leeds festival

ACTIVITIES: Balloon-modelling was on offer for families.
ACTIVITIES: Balloon-modelling was on offer for families.
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Families flocked to Leeds to celebrate the city’s inaugural summer children’s festival.

Featuring live music and performances, the first Child Friendly Leeds Live was held in the city centre’s Millennium Square yesterday.

The festival was aimed at children under the age of 12, and offered dozens of activities to keep children – and their parents or carers – busy, too.

It was headlined by children’s favourite Andy and the Odd Socks, who wowed crowds of youngsters to finish off the event in style.

Coun Lisa Mulherin, executive member for children and families, said: “Child Friendly Leeds Live was a fantastic event for children and families, and we’re delighted that Alex Winters and Andy Ball and his band Andy and the Odd Socks joined us to help make it really special.”

The festival’s proceedings yesterday were led by compere Alex Winters, who introduced eye-catching performances on-stage from Rainbow Factory and Dance Action Zone Ltd, which thrilled crowds including Will Harvey, pictured bottom left.

Youngsters also battled it out during the event as part of Leeds’ esteemed Breeze Has Talent competition.

Children to feature on-stage first overcame a series of heats to make it to the festival.

Their impressive performances yesterday were also judged and scored by officials, for originality, stage presence and technique.

Coun Mulherin added: “We are especially grateful to our wonderful partners and ambassadors, who provided free, fun activities for children to get involved in whilst enjoying the entertainment.”

Away from the stage, Child Friendly Leeds ambassadors and partners were on hand to offer fun – and entirely free – activities in the square.

They included a climbing wall, bath soap-making, parachute play, glitter and face painting, arts and crafts and story-telling in Leeds’ mobile library bus.

A pop up sensory room was on offer for children with additional needs at Leeds City Museum, while the square also laid on tennis skills and balloon modelling sessions.