Refugee festival returns

A FESTIVAL to celebrate the cultures of people who have come to Bristol and South Gloucestershire as refugees – and bring them together with other residents – is returning to Page Park.

The free event on June 24 is part of the closing weekend of this year’s Bristol Refugee Festival.

It will feature music, dancing, activities and world food, including sweets from people who have moved to the area after having to leave their old lives in Hong Kong and Afghanistan.

Dancers from Columbia, who were a hit at the initial event last year, are expected to return and a cultural performance by refugees from Ukraine is being planned, via the Homes for Ukraine initiative.

The event will run from 11am to 5pm and is part of a weekend of celebrations, with another following in Queen Square in the city centre the next day.

Bean Tree Café owner Melody Beard is organising the Page Park event in coordination with South Gloucestershire Race Equality Network and dance and culture charity Movema.

Melody said: “It was a huge success last year and almost 1,000 people attended through the day.

“We’ve had a lot more requests to take part this year.

“We’re working across every type of refugee population, to showcase the best from all of these cultures and make Staple Hill a place where people feel welcome.”

The festival will include performances from people who have lived experience of being refugees, and aims to include people currently living in hotels while they wait to find somewhere permanent to live.

As well as free samples of sweets there will be food stalls and Chinese games, with more entertainments set to be announced nearer the event.