Building on last year’s successful return, the De Frene Summer Festival 2023 saw over 400 visitors enjoy an afternoon in the sun on our beautiful market garden site.
There were plenty of activities for both children and adults to get enjoy this year from picking their own flowers from the garden and learning how to arrange them in jam jars, making decorative festival flags or even making your own set of wind chimes. People could contribute to a piece of collective land art using found objects / fallen fruit etc from around the gardens. There was a nature trail for children which was very popular along with a giant version of Tic-Tac-Toe. We also ran some very relaxing seated yoga sessions in the hub.
The team in the food court excelled themselves this year with a fantastic range of food from vegan stew, pizza, and BBQ. There was also a great variety of lovely homemade cakes on offer, all baked by members of our wider community.
Visitors were able pick-up bargains from our plant sale or from one of the stalls run by the Art & Craft and MUD projects. These sold items made by co-workers in projects sessions form greeting cards to boxes of tea. Our very own Textiles Group, a group of co-workers and volunteers, had their own stall selling amongst other things knitted animals, scarves etc. As with previous festivals, we welcomed several local businesses who pitched their stalls this year selling children’s books, jewellery, bags, and soap.
Live music was provided by several fantastic local bands and artists. We kicked off with joyful set from Squawkers & Strummers, a 6-piece ukulele band. Heart of Steel once again brought the sounds and the feel of the Caribbean to SE26 with their pan drums before the Pengenista Drummers got people dancing to their infectious Samba rhythms. We finished with a lovely set from pianist and singer Eleanor Weynell, who got people singing along to some well know songs.
A massive thank you to all visitors who came along on the day to support us. Your very generous spending helped us raise £3000 which will go to helping us continue our work helping local people attending our projects. We hope you’ll join us at the next De Frene Festival in August 2024.
Many thanks also go to the team of who helped on the day and in the weeks running up to the festival to set up stalls, bake cakes, preparing food, run activities and making items for sale. Without your dedication we wouldn’t have a De Frene Summer Festival.