Armley Festival delivers fun-packed day for Leeds families

Armley residents turned out to enjoy a "really positive, vibrant atmosphere" during a summer event.

By John Blow
Sunday, 21st July 2019, 2:03 pm
Festival entertainers Nina Bannister and Olva Widmark. PIcture: James Hardisty.
Festival entertainers Nina Bannister and Olva Widmark. PIcture: James Hardisty.

Some 2,000 people were thought to have attended Armley Festival, which took place yesterday.

Around 40 stallholders and 15 volunteers provided activities for a "cultural mix" of people in the community on Armley Moor, said Coun Lou Cunningham.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Enjoying the donkey ride were Jason Crossley, holding his daughter Isabelle, two, and Kyle Carpenter, holding his son Stephen, four. Picture: James Hardisty.

Entertainers Nina Bannister and Olva Widmark provided acrobatic showpieces, while over the same weekend the charity group Armley People's Theatre put on its debut performances with Fairy Tale of Armley - which included references to locals such as Mike Smith, of Mike's Carpets fame.

Coun Cunningham (Labour) said: "It was a really positive, vibrant atmosphere. We had lots of people from all over Armley, and beyond.

"We had quite a cultural mix with people from the local temple, mosques and local churches."

PCSO Ali, chatting with Lacey Fryer, and Laura Keeling on the Leeds Cancer Centre Charity stand. Picture by James Hardisty.

The event was volunteer-led and received money from Leeds City Council's Inner West Community Community, and Interplay Theatre also secured funding.

Members of the Institute of Dancing Crazy turned out with their Life Boat, where people could lay in a hammock.

Live music was on display to entertain the crowds, and children enjoyed donkey rides.

Armley People's Theatre debuted their Fairy Tale of Armley at Interplay Theatre between Thursday and last night to coincide with the festival.

Pictured (left to right) are Jason Hird, Lucy Meredith and Zoe Parker, from the Institute for Crazy Dancing. Picture by James Hardisty.

The play made reference to people from the community, including the owner of Mike's Carpets.

"He had a song called 'No more shag pile carpet'," said Coun Cunningham.

She added that there was a small number of lost property items, including a set of car keys, and anyone wishing to reclaim them should get in touch through the Armley Festival page on Facebook.