Castle Square in Elephant & Castle celebrates its first birthday with a free end of summer Latin Folk Festival

This month marks Castle Square’s first birthday, and to celebrate, the community hub will be hosting a FREE Latin Folk Festival with Fusion de Los Pueblos on Saturday 25th September from 12-6pm. Visitors can expect a fiesta of Latin culture performed through folk music and dance performances from 17 different talented groups from all corners of Latin America and the Caribbean, with the opportunity to even get involved with free Latin dance workshops throughout the day.

In between taking in the festivities, visitors will be able to take advantage of special food and shopping discounts (flyer attached) and enjoy a bite to eat and refreshing drink at one of Castle Square’s local traders, who specialise in serving up the area’s freshest, most delicious African, Caribbean, and South American cuisines. Take your pick from empanada and arepa kings Coma y Beba, authentic, heart-warming Nigerian dishes at Daddy O’s or sample traditional Ecuadorian plates from El Guambra.

If you’re looking for food that feeds the soul, pop over to The Original Caribbean Spice, and be sure to stop by much loved Kaieteur Kitchen Original where chef Faye Gomes is cooking up a Guyanese storm. Each trader offers outdoor dining and takeaway depending on what you’re in the mood for. Next door to Castle Square Tupi serves up authentic Brazilian dishes to be washed down with refreshing cocktails, and Pizza Pappagones offers an array of delicious Italian style pizzas to enjoy.

In addition to the Fusion De Los Pueblos event, there are a wide range of free community activities to get involved in throughout the month of September in the lead up to the one year anniversary:

For Black History Month, local charity ‘Arts In The Park’ will be running a free art based workshop at Castle Square on 17th September (5pm-7pm) to celebrate the diversity of the Elephant & Castle community. The stories are then animated and brought to life with actors and African dancers and musicians and shared as a showcase event on 17 October at Pembroke House with performances and the artwork which has been created on the show.

Parents looking for a fun way to entertain and educate their kids at home will be pleased to learn that Creative Station will be running engaging activities for kids aged 2-10 years every Thursday at 4:30 PM. The themed activities are always geared towards fun learning and sessions over the next weeks include creating first aid kits for First Aid Day, and arts and crafts with plastic bags and bottles for recycling week.

Meanwhile every Monday morning at Castle Square is dedicated to mindfulness, with free to join Chair Yoga, Chi Hatha Yoga, and Meditation classes available for all to join from 10am to 12pm.

The Virtual Community Hub has also once again teamed up with Disability Sports Coach who will host free online yoga classes at 5pm on Wednesdays, free online dance sessions at 5pm on Thursdays, and a fun monthly quiz on Friday 24th September at 5pm.

For kids and teens aged 6-16 looking for a fun activity and new hobby to learn, the Upside Down Kids/Teen Dance club will be running free dance sessions every Friday at 6.30pm around the corner at St John’s Centre, Larcom Street, SE17 1NQ. The weekly classes teach Hip Hop, Locking, Popping, House and break dance routines.

For those looking for the opportunity to get creative at home, the Creative Club is dedicating September to Japanese contemporary artist Yayoi Kusama. The classes are suitable for beginners and seasoned artists alike and include video tutorials, creative projects and inspiration. Join in on Wednesdays at 2pm.

Re-Tribe are also running free self-care workshops over Zoom every Thursday at 11am for people to come together and connect with themselves and others in a way that can provide calm and courage.

Over the last few months, Elephant & Castle locals have been nominating their Lockdown Heroes as part of the Southwark Business Resilience Awards and the finalists have now been announced. Voting is open and will close on Friday 17th September at 5pm. To cast your vote and to find out more about the other award categories visit: Southwark Business Awards 2021 – Finalist Announced Vote Now! (southwarkawards.co.uk) and to vote for your lockdown hero: https://southwarkawards.co.uk/categories/vote-local-lockdown-hero/

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