Cllr Alice Perry, Cllr Martin Klute and Pedro Klute at the Angel Canal Festival

2012: what a fantastic summer to be in London! Londoners were treated to an unrivalled selection of brilliant and memorable occasions. The Olympics, Paralympics, street parties, a wonderful collection of summer festivals AND we even had some decent weather!

During August and September Islington Council supported a rich variety of local festivals. The Angel Canal Festival was as fabulous as ever. Highlights of this year’s festival included a selection of beautifully decorated barges, the Owls display and the vegetable nursery (which involved dressing vegetables as babies – yes really!) There were also Morris Men, Pearly Kings and Queens, really good jerk chicken and someone who explained the chemical causes of duckweed to volunteers on the Islington Labour stand.

Another great local street festival was the Cally Festival. Described as a “pop-up street celebration of Caledonian road”, the festival had loads of brilliant stalls, stages and areas for people to get involved in community art projects. My friend bought a greeting card saying “Sorry for the drunken text”. Very modern.

I think my favourite event of all was the St Peter’s Block Party on the Cummings Estate, just off Essex Road. Activities included a BBQ, face painting, boxing, marshal arts, sport day events and reptiles. I turned down the chance to hold one of the snakes – maybe next time? Anyway, well done to everyone from the Old Street Area Housing Office for organising such a brilliant family day-out.

These community events are so valuable. It is important to encourage and support activities in local communal spaces. One of Islington’s Labour Council’s first acts was to over turn the ban on BBQs in local parks. Most Islington residents do not have gardens so it’s no surprise this has been one of the Council’s most popular policies! If only the good weather could have lasted a little long so we could have enjoyed a few more BBQs. Still, only 91 days until Christmas.

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