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Spirit of Friendship Festival *

Community and Jubilee celebrations

The HRH Queen's Golden Jubilee Logo

The Spirit of Friendship Festival celebration commenced on Commonwealth Day, 11 March 2002 in Westminster Abbey and Manchester Cathedral. A wide range of events have been launched including Commonwealth Day conferences for young people and the Queen’s Jubilee Baton Relay, which started on the 6 June and has travelled around the Commonwealth. The Baton Relay is now travelling around the UK before heading back to Manchester for the start of the Games.

Use this page to find reviews of recent events; events for your diary and details about how you can get involved.

Recent events

The Spirit of Friendship Festival coincides with the Queen’s Golden Jubilee celebrations. The Jubilee weekend in early June was a huge success for all who participated, either in the capital or throughout local communicates. Over 20,000 performers from around the Commonwealth flooded the Mall in London and celebrated half a century in music, dance and spectacle.


Sporting Equals

A new poster has been launched by Sporting Equals to raise awareness about their campaign to eliminate racism in sport. The programme has been established by the Commission for Racial Equality and Sport England to work with sports bodies to challenge and change perceptions, promote good practice and ensure racial equality is integral to every aspect of sport. A toolkit has been developed for sports governing bodies and sports organisations called Achieving Racial Equality: A Standard for Sport.For more information about the problems of racism in sport, and what you can do to overcome it contact Sporting Equals sportequal@cre.gov.uk (0113-3893622)

English Heritage

English Heritage

A fun-packed programme of mediaeval sports and activities has been launched throughout the nation at English Heritage properties. The fun-days celebrate sports from a bygone era and run alongside the commitment by English Heritage to investigate the country’s historic sports grounds and facilities. A pilot study was undertaken in Manchester before the launch of a national campaign on the 13 June to rediscover the country’s sporting history pre-1966! To try your hand at a range of ‘ye olde’ sports, such as Real Tennis and archery, or even jousting, contact English Heritage via their website: www.english-heritage.org.uk


Events for your diary


National Waterways Festival – During Games time in Manchester, residents and visitors alike will be able to sample the pleasures of miles of historic and beautiful waterways. There are plans to have the biggest gathering of boats ever! The programme, in association with British Waterways, culminates on 11 August with ‘Waterfire’ at Piccadilly Basin, Manchester.

North West Melas

North-West Melas

Showcase a wide range of Asian Arts including Bhangra, music, drama, poetry, visual arts and much much more! A number of Melas are planned across the North West to celebrate multiculturalism in the area.

See below to find a Mela near you for a fantastic family day out!

  • 14 July - Bolton Mela – Street Life Bolton (Annie Ingram 01204 334098)

  • 13/14 July - Blackburn Mela Festival - Blackburn Corporation Park - (Festival and Events Office 01254 682000)

  • 20/21 July - Manchester Mega Mela – Manchester - Platt Fields Park – 11am – 9pm - www.manmela.com (0161 225 7900)

  • 28 July - Nelson Mela – Lancashire - Victoria Park – 1pm – 8pm

  • 4 August - Preston Mela Avenham Park – 12 noon – 9pm www.visitpreston.com/mela (01772 253731)

  • 4 August - Hyndburn Mela – Lancashire - Oak Hill Park – 1pm – 8pm (01772 253731)

  • 25 August - Burnley Mela – Lancashire - Victoria Park (01772 253731)

Other events

  • 6 July - Unity Festival, Manchester – Chorlton Park - Celebrating Diversity! Manchester Visitor Information Centre 0161 234 3157

  • 6/7 July - Bolsover Children’s Festival, Derbyshire - Bolsover Castle - Music dance and puppet shows. 01246 827 119

  • 6/7 July - Commonwealth Games 2002 Dance Titles, Blackpool – Winter Gardens - Dance for all; ballroom, old time, latin, classical sequence, freestyle. 0161 338 2515

  • 6/7 July - Danson Festival 2002, Bexley, Kent – Danson Park - Family programme including Commonwealth Village. Adrian Fryer 020 8303 7777 ext 4234

  • 7 July - BBC Songs of Praise – Commonwealth Praise, Bolton – Victoria Square - 400 strong choir perform in this Games special event - 01204 332000

  • 8-14 July - The Spice of Leeds. Leeds – Main Event in Potternewton Park - Multi-arts celebration info@spiceofleeds.com

  • 13 July - Spirit of Carnival Gloucester – city centre and ParkCommonwealth spectacle (01452 396620)

  • 20 July - Spirit - Birmingham – Cannon Hill Park. Free festival – Black Umfolosi, Jazz America Allstars 0121 303 4514

  • 25 July - 4 August - Ma Buya, Clitheroe, Lancashire. Team building event for Girl Guides and leaders from across the Commonwealth.

  • 25 July - 4 August - Children’s Tapestry of Hope. Touring tapestry featuring work by 1600 primary schools. See the whole piece during the Games installed at Manchester University. www.millennium–tapestry.co.uk

For other events in your area, please check the Festival Events page.

Count yourself in

You can get involved with the Commonwealth Games Spirit of Friendship Festival. There is already a lot of interest from voluntary, youth, local authority and other groups at home and overseas. If you have an idea then find out more by reading our Guide for event organisers.

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