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Tuesday, 31 July 2007

The Carnival Which The Rain Couldn't Stop

Despite last minute anxieties that the weather might cause the event to be cancelled, in the end local City councillors and senior officers from the Parks’ Department agreed that it was safe for the 2007 Darnall Carnival to go ahead in High Hazels Park on Saturday 7 July, 2007.

After a slow start, when local people weren’t sure whether the rain was going to hold off, the sun came out and crowds of local residents began to stream through the gates.

Forum manager Neil Bishop estimated that around 5,000 people had visited the event during the afternoon to see the many stalls, activities and marquees, and to enjoy children performing Nasheeds (Muslim poetry), Arabic dancing and various performances by groups supporting “Love Music Hate Racism”. The entertainment culminated in a crowd of about 2,000 people gathering in front of the stage for the closing acts of the day’s programme: celebrated Bhangra Bands Jinx and B21, and the female dance troupe The Bollywood Dancers.

“There was a really good mix of people at the Carnival,” said Neil. “People of all ages and from all the communities in Darnall were in the Park together having a good time, and there was a fantastic atmosphere. Of course all the fans of the Bands were congregated round the stage, but it was great at the end of the afternoon to see lots of families sitting on the grass outside High Hazels House, listening to the music and soaking up the sun.”

Councillor Mary Lea said, “I want to give my congratulations to the staff of Darnall Forum and Darnall Green Spaces who made it such a great day out for the people of Darnall,” and Sylvia Hamilton, the Chair of Darnall Forum, said: “I am sure everyone who went to the Carnival will agree that it was a really excellent day.”

Claire Ward, from Darnall Community Nursery, said: “We had a good time at the Carnival. All the hard worked paid off. It was a great success.”

All the staff from Darnall Forum wore colourful shirts to identify themselves, provided by the European Regional Development Fund and Yorkshire Forward as part of their sponsorship of the Forum’s work. Other sponsors of the £15,000 event included the flood ravaged Meadowhall Centre, the Don Valley Stadium, builders George Wimpey and Haslam Homes, and Sheffield City Council.

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