This Festival City Loves Pride!
A few weeks ago I sat with Mayor Joe Anderson who light heartedly debated with international visitors as to whether Liverpool was an International City.
Recent events in the city have certainly shown that Liverpool commands the position, and is well respected in the cultural world.
The Brouhaha International Carnival earlier this month was a magnificent celebration bringing the colour and sounds of the world alive; it showcased large scale carnival puppets and beautiful costumes as it paraded along Prince’s Drive towards the historic Prince’s Park where music, food and entertainment were the order of the afternoon.
That day, I headed the parade as a photographer for a local paper but had also several foreign visitors in tow, visitors whom I had picked up from Lime Street Station earlier. They were amazed at the city and no wonder, for a person who has never visited the city, even a short walk from the station is a time-travel experience.
Buildings make impressions on everyone. Walking through Toxteth we marvelled at the architectural monuments both secular and sacred. Devonshire Road contributed to the city’s unique atmosphere as the parades samba bands belted out with onlookers waving from windows on high.
This was the start of a spectacular Liverpool summer brought alive by the Batala drumming and samba queens in all their feathered glory. There was no age barrier here and the joy of the crowds welcoming the snaking troupe of dancers and musicians, was well entertained by these professional street entertainers.
A few days later, the UK’s only Brazilian Festival and Samba Carnival returned with a dance and music-infused street parade, with workshops, exhibitions and fringe events that impressed my visitors even more.
I was proud to ‘show-off’ the talents of Liverpool’s street festivals and seal the approval of international guests that see Liverpool as a truly International City. Over the years Liverpool’s street carnivals have grown and keep evolving as they aim to bring the very best of culture to our doorstep.
A lot of these festivals have their origins in the 2008 City of Culture with the Liverpool Carnival Company founded in 2007. Today, the latest festival ‘Liverpool Loves’, the new summer festival from Thursday to Saturday 6th-8th August was inspired by Orb CIC co-creator of the Brazilica and Liverpool Pride. Here this latest interest spotlights on four key themes of business, culture, food and well-being; with a business day event, Irish day and family fun day. This will surely be a trial run for next years International Festival of Business.
Which brings us back to Mayor Joe Anderson. Yes we are in the International Cities league. Now, we need to get the city’s environmental issues on track, European Green City Award and a ratings in the top world liveability city ranking.
Enjoy ‘Liverpool Loves’ at the iconic waterfront, make a date in your diary and have a fantastic few days at this free outdoor event…Thursday to Saturday 6th-8th August.