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Sleaford RiverLight Festival in pictures - lighting up the town

People are already wondering whether the spectacular RiverLight Festival could be repeated after hundreds came out to enjoy the entertainment and sunshine.

The festival was a colourful and light-filled celebration of Sleaford town centre and the River Slea and organisers are thrilled with the outcome.

North Kesteven District Council Leader Coun Richard Wright thanked everyone who worked to make the festival happen and said: “We’ve had some wonderful comments already from local people and groups, businesses and partners on the additional liveliness it cast across the town centre, and I’m excited to see further analysis of the festival.”

A week of fringe events reached a crescendo across town on Saturday including Octo by Dream Engine performed mid-air in the Market Place and the Luminosi Tree at Eastgate, art, street theatre, dance and music, heritage displays, food and shopping - all backed by the Government’s Welcome Back Fund.

The day was rounded off with an atmospheric celebration of light and colour at Eastgate Green with a string quartet.

Durector of The Hub, Clare Edwards was thrilled with the feedback so far.

She said: “Over 120 people and partners were involved in the creation and delivery of RiverLight and it is by far the best event we’ve ever done in Sleaford.

“To turn around a major town centre festival in 10 weeks was a huge undertaking, but I’m proud to say we did it together.” She wanted to thank everyone involved for making it all happen.

She said: “The aim was to bring people back to our high street and celebrate Sleaford’s culture and creativity, and we certainly achieved this. Sleaford was brought to life on Saturday and the week-long programme of events brought long-awaited joy and happiness to everyone that took part.

“RiverLight has been a huge success in so many ways. Feedback so far has been extremely positive and we are now in the process of pulling together an evaluation as part of the funding.

“I’m also pleased to say that we are already having early conversations about the festival becoming an annual event for Sleaford. With 12 months notice, who knows what we can achieve next time?

“We look forward to working to create RiverLight 2023.”

Among the attractions was an open day at Sleaford Islamic Centre, where over 500 visitors toured the mosque, tried out henna painting and looked at the varied information and artefacts on display.

Nadim Aziz from the centre said: “On behalf of Sleaford Islamic Centre, I most sincerely thank each and everyone from Sleaford and the serrounding villages who showed an interest by visiting the Mosque during RiverLight Festival.

“We were overwhelmed by more than 500 visitors, many of whom were eager to learn, ask questions and show keen interest .

“It is our intention to arrange an open day in the very near future and during the Holy Month of Ramadan to welcome the public and to give a short introductory talk about Islam in which all questions about the Islamic faith can be answered.”

He said it had also prompted more interest for school visits too.

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