Major community arts project near Sleaford to culminate in celebratory unveiling event

A major community arts project in a village near Sleaford culminates this weekend with a celebratory unveiling event.

A scene from one of the community events leading up to Flag Fest.

Flag Fest will be staged at The Venue, in Grantham Road, Navenby, on Saturday, September 11, from 12-5pm.

It has been organised by the same team that revived the Cliff Carnival in 2019, almost 40 years after it was last held, and follows months of community involvement.

“When Covid prevented Cliff Carnival from taking place in 2020, the team decided to take a different approach,” said chairman Katie Gordon. “They wanted to celebrate community resilience and make a permanent marker of this time by creating a series of eight festival flags and involve as many people as possible.”

To support their vision, the team were awarded £2,000 through North Kesteven District Council’s Covid-19 Response and Recovery Fund.

They also collaborated with Nicki Jarvis, artist in residence at Navenby’s Mrs Smith’s Cottage, and Lucy Lumb, visual arts development coordinator at The Hub, in Sleaford.

Members of the community were invited to give their answer to a question – ‘who or what helped you get through lockdown?’. In the end, the team received about 700 responses.

Then, at a drop-in event at The Venue in July, 30 people plus 10 helpers (many from Wellingore Women’s Institute) used these responses to create fabric images and text for the eight festival flags.

The flags were then distributed to volunteer sewing machinists to stitch the designs.

On Saturday, the finished flags will be unveiled.

The family-orientated event will include food and drink stalls, crafts, circus skills, bushcraft activities, fire-dancing, and aerial shows. Entrance is free with gates open between 12-5pm. Parking will be available, but on a first come, first served basis.

Following the event, the flags will be available to the Cliff parishes to ‘enliven and enrich future outside community events’, Katie said.

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/cliffcarnival