Walton Festival set to make a comeback

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Walton Festival launches on Friday 12th February © Walton Festival/ Facebook

Walton Festival launch. Pic © Walton Festival / Facebook

Walton Festival will make its return this summer after a gap of 17 years.

The community event, which featured live entertainment and on-street parades, was last held in 1999 but was unable to continue because of financial difficulties.

Now, with support from Liverpool City Council, Walton Community and Interest Company and a number of local housing associations, the festival will be held on July 16th and 17th in Walton Hall Park.

Rob Connor, one of the organisers of the festival, which was launched last Friday, said the weekend-long event will showcase Walton’s community spirit.

Speaking to JMU Journalism, Mr Connor added: “The festival will help to focus the community spirit that is very strong in the Walton area. There’s been a real will around the Walton area for the festival to come back. It’s fondly remembered by a lot of people and it’s a much loved event.

“The Walton Community and Interest Company is a conglomeration of a number of different people and basically they’ve been driving forward the staging of the festival.”

The event was originally set to commence in cafes and bars on the streets of Walton, but the idea has since been moved into Walton Hall Park, which will celebrate its 82nd birthday that weekend.

Rob Connor, along with his colleague Liz Lamb, is working in collaboration with Walton Makes Music, who last year organised the Walton Music Festival.

The partnership will mean this summer’s festival will feature a music stage named the Band Stand, a throwback to when the park had its very own bandstand, and play host to a number of local groups, singers and choirs.

The organisers are also inviting community organisations and small and new businesses to the festival to raise awareness of health issues and offer careers advice, among other things, but the organisers remain coy on the specifics.

Rob said: “We’ve got quite a number of things arranged or we’re in the midst of arranging and what we’re wanting to do is drip feed those things between now and July. So there’s a few things that we’re keeping up our sleeves for now.”

The festival is set to feature a Victorian funfair, sports displays, a farmers’ market, a fun run and a team ‘It’s a Knockout’ competition for organisations from across the city.

About Sam Davies, JMU Journalism