Business booms as thousands flock to Fratton Family Festival

A MAJOR street festival showcasing a key shopping centre attracted thousands of revellers over the weekend.

Monday, 19th September 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 5th October 2016, 2:22 pm
Dance performance by Most Wanted

More than 5,000 people flocked to the second Fratton Family Festival yesterday.

Fratton Road – normally bustling with cars – was closed and transformed into a vibrant hub of live music, market stalls and children’s entertainment.

Staged once again by Fratton Big Local, the festival proved an overwhelming hit with visitors, young and old.

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Bob White is the vicar of St Mary’s Church, in Fratton, and chairman of the group.

He said: ‘It’s been an incredible day. This was all about showcasing all the wonderful things Fratton has to offer.’

Revellers danced to the tunes of 11 local bands, split over two stages.

Elsewhere in the street, there was a live display from Fratton-based capoeira club Origens do Brasil and singers from Southsea’s Cantando FVC Choir.

Children also had a chance to play street tennis, joke around with the Mad Hatter and have their faces painted.

Football fan Vinnie Fairhurst, 11, visited the festival with friend Callum Edgar, 12.

He said: ‘It’s been really good fun. The music is great.

‘There’s nothing else like this in Fratton.’

Rebecca Correa, 32, of Hilsea went to watch her husband, Doug, perform with his band on stage.

She said: ‘It’s nice to be able to go to something different like this. It’s great to see everyone with a smile on their faces for once.’

Doug, 33, was performing with his ukelele band, Strumdiddlyumptious on the Mayfield Studios Stage.

He said: ‘The crowds were great, there were lots of people coming out to watch.’

He added: ‘I never really shop here because I’m normally just passing through. So it’s been nice to see what the road has to offer.’

Business in the precinct was booming, traders said.

Andy Read is the manager of the Sue Ryder charity shop.

He said: ‘Today has been absolutely brilliant – we just love it. Not many people know we’re here, so days like this are really great.

‘We have probably done treble the business we normally do.’

The festival began last year and is backed by the Fratton Traders’ Association.