South Kilburn Family Festival is on tomorrow and it promises to be bigger and better

Jess Baldwin, TC and Rita Ogole who are all involved with the South Kilburn Family Festival Pic cr

Jess Baldwin, TC and Rita Ogole who are all involved with the South Kilburn Family Festival Pic credit: Jonathan Goldberg - Credit: Archant

South Kilburn’s diverse community is ready to celebrate its “best festival yet” as it returns for a day of pure family fun tomorrow (Saturday).

The South Kilburn Family Festival is the highlight of the borough and will take place on the Open Space on Carlton Vale.

Organised by the South Kilburn Trust (SKT), which set up three years ago, the charity has opted for a resident-led festival committee because, as they say, “residents know what they want”.

TC, one of the area’s most well-known locals, will host the event with Remel London. He said: “We’re lucky in South Kilburn with the diverse community that we have, it is our strength. I’ve always said South Kilburn’s the diamond in the rough. We have come through some rough times but now we have come together and it’s time to sparkle.”

In the run up to tomorrow’s finale is the Starsky Clouds Fashion Show, the Elders Vintage Tea Party, the Somali Womens’ Group Cultural Celebration and Josephine’s African Dance Extravaganza, all who will be there on the day.

Rita Ogole, communications manager at SKT, said: “It’s about family, not the nuclear family, but the whole community family. It’s an amazing day organised by local people for all people.”

She added: “We’ve taken it up a level this year and have partnered with Kilburn Park School, who have a biodome in their playground. They are hosting our learning zone. People will learn about plant life, there’ll be animals, people can learn where there food comes from, there’ll be plant giveaways, there’ll be different activities like facepainting but all really focused around nature, the environment and learning in a fun and interactive way.”

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What visitors will be unable to miss is the sheer breadth of what this community can achieve, whether it’s through the music – Somalian resident Faisal will sing, with the area’s J-Unity, semi finalists in Britain’s Got Talent headlining.

Meet the entrepreneurs given a leg up by the trust and now supporting it, at one of the dozen’s of stalls, selling everything from food to jewellery.

Rita continued: “The trust supports small business and there’s a real thirst for business and enterprise in the area. We’re listening to more and more people about their business who have an idea and want to make it come to life.

“One of the ways we do this is through our pitching event, very Dragons Denesque. They come up with a business idea and pitch for a £1,000 grant which is provided by the Trust.”

TC added: “It’s not something to fall back on, it’s something to step up to.”

Jess Baldwin, a designer on the festival committee, who makes vintage clothing, who will host the Elders tea party, said: “The grant programme made a massive difference to me as I was really struggling. I make handmade vintage clothes and it allowed me to get the manufacturing started, get patterns produced. When I sell something, I pay the manufacturers out of that.”

“With mass regeneration going on in the area, the three are positive about the future.”

TC said: “Change is coming, people are investing in here. If the trust can evolve things can only get better.”

“Yes,” added Rita. “South Kilburn is unique. This festival is about our community and showcasing South Kilburn as a positive place to be, a place that’s buzzing with aspiration that should be celebrated by everyone.”

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