All smiles at Preston’s Feast for Peace weekend

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Crowds flocked in their thousands to eat, drink, and dance their way around the world at Preston’s Feast for Peace this weekend.

The festival took place at the city centre’s Flag Market and Harris Museum, with the locations hosting a range of events celebrating Preston’s cultural diversity through live music, food, and history.

And festival organiser Kay Johnson, from Penwortham, couldn’t have been happier with how the day went, despite the bad weather.

Kay said: “The people of Preston are amazing! We nearly had to cancel the whole thing due to the rain and wind but we were so happy with the end result.

“The aim of the festival was to get people of different cultures together. I looked around and saw people really embracing the event.”

The 52-year-old added: “It was incredible to see people trying to cook in these tough conditions, where the gazebos covering the work stations were having to be held down so they didn’t take off. Everyone was joining in.

We’re run on a volunteer basis but I had people coming to me saying they want to do it again.

Amongst the chefs was 88-year-old Lady Milena Grenfell-Baines - one of 669 Jewish children living in Czechoslovakia who escaped from the Nazis in 1939 - who was not letting the turbulent elements distract her from cooking batches of potato cakes.

Kay, a nutritionist by trade, now wants to make the event a yearly bash.

She said: “We will try to make it an annual event if we can. We’re run on a volunteer basis but I had people coming to me saying they want to do it again. Even the performers were telling me thank you for involving them.”

Musical and dance acts on the Flag Market included dancing from Preston-based Whelan-Joyce School of Irish Dance, Middle Eastern dancing from Anne Kingston and the Habiba Dancers, and Caribbean carnival dancing from Aspire, a Preston-based carnival troupe.

The Harris Museum was home to a World War One display, organised by Tony Mack, which gave an insight into wartime food and nutrition as well as celebrating the historic efforts of those living through The Great War. It went so well that organiser Kay wants to continue it going forward.

She said: “I definitely want to do something with the Harris Museum again, looking at World War One and food.

“It was brilliant and a nice contrast to the events at the Flag Market.”

The slogan for this year’s festival - ‘If we can eat together we can live together’ - was reflected in the food available.

Kay Johnson

Kay Johnson