Big Sweep kicks off Bold Street Festival

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Businesses and the public took part in ‘the big sweep’. © Bold Street/Twitter

The people of Liverpool took to Bold Street at the weekend to celebrate the fifth and biggest year yet of the festival.

The festival began at 12pm, with the traditional ‘big sweep’, where all the businesses and festival goers joined together to sweep the street from top to bottom with their hand-designed brushes. The sweeping was accompanied by drummers dressed in red and gold.

Most of the shops on the historical street took the opportunity to set up outdoor stalls, with the restaurants offering free samples of their menus, and shops displaying their wares. What started as a sunny and promising day turned rainy and miserable by the afternoon, but businesses were not put off, choosing to shelter their outdoor stalls instead.

New Liverpool FC winger Oussama Assaidi even joined in the festivities, much to the pleasure of all the red half of the football fans who attended.

Highlights of the festival included live performances on stage from China Pearl, who also offered the public an insight into their culture, with workshops in lantern-making and storytelling.

The festival also marked the start of Liverpool’s Comedy Festival at the Royal Court, with displays of satire and Shakespeare.

Bold Street played host to a vibrant performance from a local Zumba organisation, which saw a group of girls hip-shaking on stage and encouraging the crowd to get involved with their upbeat routine.

Other events on the street included a vintage fair at Leaf, stilt-walkers, Tai Chi demos and roaming street performers.

Katy Moussaada was in charge of the fair at Leaf yesterday, and she said: “Our Fair was busier than usual fairs, but that is to be expected.  I think when it rained it drove people into venues.

“There seemed less of an atmosphere than last year, but it was difficult to gauge as last year was glorious weather and therefore that in itself creates a more fun and joyful atmosphere.”

The popular festival, organised by City Central BID and Bold Street Traders, drew an end to the city’s ‘Summer of Love’ campaign, which was devised to help encourage trade on the street, which has been affected by the redevelopment and subsequent closure of Central Station.

About Sophie Marsden, JMU Journalism