Leicester City Festival 2019

The City Festival was launched yesterday, in the slightly stuffy environment of an 18 metre plastic dome on Jubilee Square. After on and off drizzle across the afternoon, the sky cleared for a picture perfect sunlit event to celebrate the start of this year’s festival.

Opened by Sir Peter Soulsby, the festival is a sort of ancestor of the Castle Park Festival, traditionally held on the August bank holiday. Now it is a week long and city wide, and to be fair there is a rather stonking programme on offer.

The centre of the action is the giant dome on Jubilee Square, with a lively programme of kids’ daytime activity, and music and comedy in the evening. We were treated to tasters of all of these things with the National Space Centre featuring their spaceman autopsy and live music and comedy performances taking place on the stage. Bands like British Sea Power, art takeovers and weird and wonderful performers will also be around – so take a look at the full festival programme for the lowdown and to book.

Alongside all of these fun and games, we have the annual celebration of cycling that is Let’s Ride Leicester. The streets will be closed down to cars and the bicycles take over for the day. This is always a highlight on my Leicester calendar as there are activities to get involved with all over town as well as the ride around the city itself. There is always a really good atmosphere – it’s very family friendly. Plus the weather is looking pretty fair all week, so we’re in luck!

If all this activity and fun is making you feel hungry, fear not! Canteen are on hand, our neighbourhood street food specialists. Throughout the week there will be a range of traders on Jubilee Square to keep you fed and watered. The full line up can be found on Facebook.

It’s Mr Street Food!

We were treated to a few samples ourselves. The drinks from Thirst Class Bars were very good – keep your eye out for their raspberry gin which is very pleasant on a sunny afternoon. Stripclub Streetfood were absolutely slaying with their burgers. I don’t know why a burger is much improved by the addition of a processed potato smiley face, but it is and I won’t hear a word against it.

The vegan mac n cheese from FarrinHeit Foods failed to hit the mark for me because it was underseasoned and, well, I like cheese so there isn’t really anything you can do to replicate a cheese sauce’s taste and texture without dairy. Their 10 bean chilli is a much better offering in my opinion, because it does exactly what it says on the tin and is full of flavour – without trying to be something it’s not. Check my feelings on imitations here. If you haven’t eaten cheese for years then no doubt it’s wonderful.

Finally we enjoyed a Blondie Brownie Bakes chocolate orange special, which had just the right mix of crunchy top and gooey inside – a little too sweet for my taste, but clearly an excellent quality of bake if sweet stuff is your bag.

Doggos may also enjoy the festival and looking for fallen floor treats

There are a variety of traders, entertainers and events throughout the week – so you’re bound to find something that suits you on the programme. Get stuck in and have a great time!


Bestselling author and freelance drinks writer. Champion of pubs and breweries. Occasional printmaker.

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