Locals and different communities recently came together to see the return of the Hidden River Festival where everyone was able to enjoy music, performances, food and explore the all the stalls along the New River path.

On the bright and sunny afternoon of Saturday 12th September, Manor House saw the return of the annual Hidden River Festival which took place right beside the man made West Reservoir, along the New River path where locals came out to see what the local festival could offer them.

From a diversity of delicious cultural food to a variety of performances and music there was something for all the festival goers to revel in on the day. Even the children could not stop jumping on the bouncy castle and wheeling up and down the path as part of the activity with wheely tots!

A mother of two young children said:

The kids have had so much fun today, they were really fond of wheely tots, we spent a while there.

Another parent said:

The festival has been absolutely fantastic! The kids have had a great time, they love the music, it has been very entertaining, there’s great activities for the kids to take part in, and it’s really lovely.

Local school, Skinners Academy arranged for some of their students to participate in providing the entertainment for the Hidden River Festival attendees such as dance routines and singing songs which was really enjoyed by everyone. Bear Funny Comedy had many laughs from the children however The Frozen Themed show was by far an easy favourite for the kids!

Over 2000 people attended the Manor House PACT sponsored festival which is a great outcome after the months of planning and hard work that was put into making the Hidden River Festival happen. The majority of the food stalls sold out, all the activities that were set up on the day were appreciated by a large number of the festival goers and it also brought a range of diverse communities together in one place.

A festival goer said:

Fantastic! Boombastic! Supersonic and intergalactic and a beautiful day for everyone. The music and the atmosphere has been enjoyable. I came all the way from Scotland to be here.

Here’s what a few local residents had to say:

There’s been a real sense of community here, everyone’s loving being here and having a good day out with the family. The busking corner has been terrific and we spoke to wheely tots as well, the charity with the bikes, they were really, really helpful and interesting. It’s been great. Glad we came. We want to go to more of these, they don’t have to be very big just small, local, community events for locals to look forward to.

Today has been wonderful! I have really enjoyed the food, music, community, gardening and the view of the reservoir truly adds to the overall atmosphere. You can tell that a lot of thought has gone into planning this event.

We’ve seen lots of flowers strawberry plants we just got, we got a lemon balm thing, ermm we got lots of flowers, lots of bits for the kids which is nice, lots of food, it’s all fun and they should do this more often. I think they should do a Christmas market down here (new river path) at Christmas time, proper old-fashioned Christmas market I think they should do, with all the Christmas music and everything. For cheap.

Even though it was a gloomy, grey and cloudy start to the day whilst the stalls were being set up the rain stopped, the clouds went away and the sunshine beamed down on what was a very beautiful, energetic and successful local festival.