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International Artists to WOW Wigan Crowds
Friday 29th July, 2005

On Sunday 7 th August, Mesnes Park, Wigan will come alive to the beautiful sights, sounds and vibrant spirit of the eagerly awaited Wigan One World Festival (WOW). A free celebration of multiculturalism in the heart of Wigan, the festival will showcase the talents of artists from as far a field as the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean, Africa and Europe.

Spearheading the show, which runs from 12pm to 6pm, will be the wonderfully powerful Toca Rufa percussion group from Portugal; Martinique’s fantastic hip-hop organisation MD Company; Trinidad and Tobago’s multi-talented music and dance company BelmontFreetown and the effervescent acrobatic dancers and musicians of Kozman Ti Dalon from Reunion Island.
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The high point of the day is the 2pm Carnival Procession around Mesnes Park, including the international performers and the stunning costumes of the 60-strong ‘Little Branches’ carnival group from Westleigh. The fun-packed day, which attracted four thousand people last year, will also feature performances by community performers from across the North West including Brittannia Rumba, Afrocats, The International Crew and the WOW Carnival Band.

“This year promises to be the most exciting and visually stunning festival we have ever put together. We are now into our third year and the 2005 festival has got a wider array of special performances and events than ever,”

says Michael Rycroft, Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust’s Community Festivals Manager.

“Of course there is an important message behind the festival, which is especially apt in the current climate we are living in. The WOW Festival is about celebrating the beauty and diversity of our multicultural society and we hope it portrays the sheer joy and vibrancy felt by people across our community as a result of this.”

Photographs:

Alongside the song and dance spectacular the festival will also feature artistic installations; a fun dog show; food from around the world; a children’s play area; community stalls and a table football competition.

While local community groups such as ‘Little Branches’ of Westleigh and Kurdish residents will perform hand in hand with their professional counterparts from across the globe, the festival also offers young people the chance to join in the fun at the Kick Racism Out Of Football fun football festival. The football festival, organised by WLCT, is for children aged eight and under, who can play five-a-side football and rugby, while learning the importance of racial tolerance and respect in both sport and the community.

Those who wish to preview the festival are welcome to attend one of the specially commissioned events on Saturday 6 th August. Firstly the Turnpike Gallery will host African Gospel singing and Afro-Caribbean dance at 6pm; this is a free event but must be booked prior to attendance, please phone 01942 486921. Later on Saturday at 8.30pm, The Tavern will host the WOW Carnival Band, Kozman Ti Dalon and DJ Hot Pepper who will be supported by local bands thanks to the Wigan Music Collective; entrance is £3.50 or £2.50 with a WOW flyer.

The WOW Festival promises to be the most spectacular and awe-inspiring event of the summer. The fun at Mesnes begins at 12pm and lasts for a full six hours, rain or shine it will be a fun day for all ages and is of course completely free to enjoy.


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