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Queen's Park Day: 'Amazing day' could have seen record 18,000 people at community festival

PUBLISHED: 17:30 16 September 2019

Acrobats wow the crowds at Queen's Park Day. Picture: Jonathan Goldberg

Acrobats wow the crowds at Queen's Park Day. Picture: Jonathan Goldberg

Jonathan Goldberg

Fine weather on Sunday may well have seen Queen's Park Day smash its attendance record, organisers believe, after thousands flocked to the annual community festival.

Queen's Park Day: Fireflies Dance School. Picture: Jonathan GoldbergQueen's Park Day: Fireflies Dance School. Picture: Jonathan Goldberg

Chief organiser Helen Durnford was delighted with how things had gone.

The former teacher told the Brent & Kilburn Times: "It was amazing, a really fun day.

"We don't have the official count yet, but we think we probably had more people than ever before because of the weather - maybe 18,000 people.

Queen's Park Day: the Elites, London's Greek dance troupe, entertain the crowds. Picture: Jonathan GoldbergQueen's Park Day: the Elites, London's Greek dance troupe, entertain the crowds. Picture: Jonathan Goldberg

"And we even had sheep racing - I imagine we were the only place in London last weekend to have the Lamb National!"

For Helen, a particular highlight had been the dancing on show at the park's bandstand.

She said: "I loved the dancing - the Elites London Greek dancers were fantastic. They're young people who want to keep their cultural roots alive.

Michael Stuart from the Kensal to Kilburn Fruit Harvesters pressing apples. Picture: Jonathan GoldbergMichael Stuart from the Kensal to Kilburn Fruit Harvesters pressing apples. Picture: Jonathan Goldberg

"We also had a Cuban band playing Cuban music. There were so many people dancing to them - more than I can ever remember, and we have been doing this so many years!"

Helen also praised the "truly local" nature of the festival's stallholders, paying tribute to the "incredible community spirit" it shows off.

She added: "People come and stay with family specifically around this weekend, and visitors always pay tribute to the community here. The vast majority of the stalls are local, and that's what we're about."

The Elites, London's Greek dance troupe. Picture: Jonathan GoldbergThe Elites, London's Greek dance troupe. Picture: Jonathan Goldberg

One such stallholder was Michael Stuart, from the Kensal to Kilburn Fruit Harvesters.

The group, which is part of Transition Kensal to Kilburn, works to minimise food waste, increase sustainability, and improve food knowledge in the area.

At Queen's Park Day, Michael said his stall "got through a quarter of a tonne of apples" by selling more than 400 glasses of juice to visitors.

Carla Cooper, three, makes a candle at the Maker's Guild stall. Picture: Jonathan GoldbergCarla Cooper, three, makes a candle at the Maker's Guild stall. Picture: Jonathan Goldberg

He added: "It went brilliantly for us. It was a lovely day and people really appreciated the refreshment.

"It's our big fundraiser for the year - we sell glasses of juice for £1 to help keep us going."

This year, Michael said, the apples used had been foraged by a group of young people from a Kenton branch of the beavers and cub scouts.

Queen's Park Day: Julia Berry enjoying a donkey ride. Picture: Jonathan GoldbergQueen's Park Day: Julia Berry enjoying a donkey ride. Picture: Jonathan Goldberg

The Elites, London's Greek dance troupe. Picture: Jonathan GoldbergThe Elites, London's Greek dance troupe. Picture: Jonathan Goldberg

Mr Alexander performs magic. Picture: Jonathan GoldbergMr Alexander performs magic. Picture: Jonathan Goldberg

Judges inspect jams, pies and fruit creations. Picture: Jonathan GoldbergJudges inspect jams, pies and fruit creations. Picture: Jonathan Goldberg

Fruit and vegetable creations ahead of the judging. Picture: Jonathan GoldbergFruit and vegetable creations ahead of the judging. Picture: Jonathan Goldberg

Katlyn Gold enjoying a donkey ride. Picture: Jonathan GoldbergKatlyn Gold enjoying a donkey ride. Picture: Jonathan Goldberg

Members of the Women's Institute serve cakes. Picture: Jonathan GoldbergMembers of the Women's Institute serve cakes. Picture: Jonathan Goldberg

Queen's Park Day. Picture: Jonathan GoldbergQueen's Park Day. Picture: Jonathan Goldberg

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Casper Shaw, four, with dad Alex Shaw pressing apples at the Kensal to Kilburn Fruit Harvesters Group. Picture: Jonathan GoldbergCasper Shaw, four, with dad Alex Shaw pressing apples at the Kensal to Kilburn Fruit Harvesters Group. Picture: Jonathan Goldberg

Queen's Park Day. Picture: Jonathan GoldbergQueen's Park Day. Picture: Jonathan Goldberg

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Members of the Women's Institute serve cakes. Picture: Jonathan GoldbergMembers of the Women's Institute serve cakes. Picture: Jonathan Goldberg

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