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Full of Feast and promise

The Hope Street beano Feast on Sunday had 25,000 people licking their lips in a market of optimism. Did you go? Heather Smith did

Published on January 14th 2010.

Full of Feast and promise

THEY say the weather makes all the difference and yet it wasn’t just the blazing sun that made this year’s Hope Street Feast such a soaring success, although it didn’t half help.

An impressive 25,000 feasters flocked to the Hope Street environs at the weekend where there were twice as many stalls as last year, selling just about everything from organic cottons to Lancashire cheeses. Diversity was the name of the game.

The Market of Optimism, lifeblood of the festival, stretched from LIPA down to the Everyman and, for the first time, Hardman Street and Myrtle Street were closed to traffic. A wise move considering the turnout: you could hardly move.

They don’t call it a feast for nothing either. Even after a taste-bud-tickling chickpea, spinach and new potato curry, there was simply no way you could walk past the French crepes stall with the lemon and sugar being strewn around so generously.

Inside the Philharmonic Hall, which was free to drop in all day, the line-up was blessed with the likes of Vasily Petrenko conducting the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir and Amsterdam’s Ian Prowse, who was joined onstage by Ian McNabb.

Naturally, I was more than impressed to stumble across a Lucky Heather stand, a fortune teller complete with mysterious crystal ball. She emerged from the glitzy velvet curtains to greet us speaking in a quintessentially English accent, sporting a full-on afro, larger-than-life comical moustache and tuxedo.

But with the Hope Street Feast it’s not so much a question of why, more a question of why not. And why not indeed; fantastically-feathered angels prancing along the street and hullabaloo from happy roof top hawkers definitely put a positive buzz in the air. Even if it was pouring down, you got the impression that the thermometer of happiness would be moving up, up, up.

There’s a lot to live up to next year but the Hope Street Feast will no doubt continue to grow and get even better. This year’s festival was enchanting, much like a top-menu mad-hatters tea party; full of eccentrics, full of entertainment and full of fun.

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5 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Doris BonkersSeptember 23rd 2008.

I'll say! It was like a haysie Fantaysie fan club reunion!Those pasties were good though.

DigSeptember 23rd 2008.

The stalls were selling rucksacks, pushchairs and straw tifters.

Burly QueenSeptember 23rd 2008.

Too many people with straw tifters on too, eh?

Miss Anne ThropeSeptember 23rd 2008.

Too many pushchairs, too many rucksacks. You couldn't get near enough to the stalls to see what they were selling!

Sid BonkersSeptember 23rd 2008.

Brilliant, joyous event, simple in its premise and world class in its delivery. Thanks you. And apparently at very little cost to the public purse, so thank you even more.

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