Saturday, 7 July 2012


At Manor House Neighbourhood Centre, Haddenham Road, this afternoon, for Leicester's (self-styled) first "Cosmopolitan Carnival". The event has been organised by Kaleidoscope Arts - which appears to be a one-woman outfit consisting of the redoubtable Amanda Leandro (correct me if I'm wrong).

Manor House and its neighbouring playing fields are an underused community resource. This event showcases the features and benefits of the venue. Great support from volunteers and a terrific mix of stalls, displays, workshops, master-classes - with love music and comedy outdoors. My only complaint would be that there's no vegetarian hot food. I ask one of the ladies serving Caribbean cuisine through a hatch from the kitchen if she has anything that doesn't have either chicken or goat in it, but there's nothing, not even normally omnipresent salt fish. Oddly though, she offers me hot dogs as a vegetarian alternative. I ask if they have meat in them. She says they do.

There's the biggest, most complex, bouncy castle I've ever seen. In fact, it's a bouncy Noah's Ark! I have to step quite a long way back to fit it all in the photo above.

Events like these, that used to be just for fun, or to raise money for a local good cause. Now they're exploited (I mean that in a positive way - mostly) by small businesses and social enterprises as a source of income. Changed days.

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