May sees the start of the borough’s festival season and as always Croydon is awash with special events, many of which are actively supported by the council.
This help includes provision of parks and open spaces as venues, supply of equipment, small grants, and support and advice to community groups.
A new event for 2016 is the Purley Food and Drink Week (28 May to 5 June) which is brought to Purley by the newly-established business improvement district (BID). The week promises to offer a great time out, with entertainment, offers, competitions, music, fun for kids, and a craft beer festival organised by the same team which has already staged two successful events at the Clocktower.
The annual Addiscombe Festival is this year held on 29 May, and Croydon Lions are once again joining forces with Conoley’s fun fair at Ashburton Park to bring a day of family entertainment to the neighbourhood. Part of the event will include the Croydon Big Dance, which is sponsored by Croydon Council and is a project also supported by the new London Mayor, Sadiq Khan.
June will kick off with the start of the second year of the Croydon Comedy Festival, which runs until the end of July. The popular festival features almost 40 shows and classic comedy film screenings at ten venues across the borough.
The Park Hill Family Festival and the second leg of the Big Dance take place alongside each other on 4 June. Park Hill recreation ground is just a short walk from Croydon town centre, and will be brought to life with the culmination Croydon’s Big Dance. The festival will also include everything from gardening and beekeeping to mural design and computer coding.
Also making use of Park Hill recreation ground is this year’s Interfaith Bike Ride & Picnic on 5 June. The bike ride is an inclusive cycling event which is open to all. It involves stops at various faith centres along the way and ends at Park Hill Park for an early ‘Big Lunch’ interfaith picnic.
Meanwhile, Wandle Park has its own extensive spring and summer events programme which is overseen and co-ordinated by a full-time council officer who works with volunteer groups to get the best use out of the park’s wide range of community facilities.
“Over the next few weeks alone there’s everything from food, drink and comedy to dance, music and cycling – so there’s no excuse to not get out and start enjoying some of what’s on offer. The long range summer forecast for the UK is brilliant, and with so many great events planned, Croydon is definitely set to take full advantage of the good weather.”
Councillor Timothy Godfrey, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport
More details of these events and a full list of major festivals and events can be found on the council website at /summer16.