Now the council is promising “family-friendly, Covid-safe activities for all ages and abilities to enjoy. Try out some sports or dance moves, listen to bands give it their all, or wander through an enchanted forest being charmed by the flora and fauna bursting into life all around you.”
There will be children’s activities, craft workshops, local community and voluntary sector area, live music, a dance tent, sports and ‘have a go’ activities, a marketplace and street food from around the world, a chillout zone with yoga and mindfulness activities, and funfair rides.
Greenwich Together ’21 is being put together by Continental Drifts, which organised the Sparkle in the Park event at Avery Hill Park in Eltham last December.
Victoria Sandell from Continental Drifts will be filling in park users about the festival at the Friends of Charlton Park AGM, which takes place via Zoom on Tuesday night at 8pm – sign up via the Friends website.
Greenwich Council’s annual Great Get Together festival is to move from Woolwich to Charlton Park and be given a new look and name, tender documents issued to potential event producers reveal.
Held to coincide with Armed Forces Day for the past decade, the event began life at Barrack Field on Woolwich Common, as a merger of smaller events held around the borough in the years before that. It moved to Woolwich town centre in 2019.
After last year’s event fell foul of the pandemic, the council is now planning to relaunch its annual jamboree, with Saturday 21 August pencilled in as a start date – at a cost of £165,000.
The move from Woolwich to Charlton Park will disappoint those hoping for a boost to the troubled town centre, which is receiving up to £17.1m in government funds to make it more appealing to visitors and residents.
But the council says “this year provides a natural opportunity to reconfigure the event and move location”.
“This location has been chosen as the park is in the centre of the borough, is a large, flat, green space with many sections, fenced with several gates, a small car park and is well equipped with existing facilities including a skate park, cafes and a playground making it the perfect location for a contemporary outdoor community festival, with exciting new content for residents to enjoy,” the tender document, spotted by tweeter Jo Brodie, states.
“The event will also provide an opportunity for thanks to our NHS and key workers, as well for reflection and memorial to those lives lost during the pandemic. The focus for the event should be a contemporary family festival with an overriding theme of equality and diversity,” potential organisers are told.
“We envisage music, arts, culture, food and entertainment from around the world, but embedded in the diversity of the variety of communities we have in Royal Greenwich [sic]. The event needs a rebrand – with a new name that captures this essence.”
The document says that for this year only and as “a celebration of the potential end of the pandemic, we are able to invest more in the event than ever before, enabling the opportunity to produce a really spectacular show”.
“The end of summer date hopefully allows for the Covid-19 restrictions to have been lifted, the vaccination programme to have been completed, and anticipates that visitors will have regained confidence in large events and social gatherings again,” the document states.
The proposals appear to be similar to those for the hugely popular Lewisham People’s Day, which takes part in Mountsfield Park in Catford. However, organisers have also been told that “due to the borough’s rich military history and some armed forces content at previous events, we may want to include some content of this nature such as an assault course and visibility and support from local community groups such as the Army Cadets and British Legion”.
Plans for Parkrun to come to Charlton Park have taken a great stride forward after local people voted for organisers to receive £2,000 from a fund to help the local area bounce park from the pandemic.
The free weekly five-kilometre events have been suspended since last March but are expected to return this summer as the country reopens. Thousands of people run, jog or walk their way around parks and open spaces each Saturday morning with the help of an army of volunteers.
In all, 86 people took part in the vote two weeks ago, with £16,000 to distribute to a variety of different projects. The money comes from central government and is being distributed by Greenwich Council.
Ten projects won funding: Charlton parkrun (£2,000); Creative Community Meals (£2,000); Picture Me There – half-hour touring dance performances (£2,000); Fresh Chances Deep Neighbourhood Digital Inclusion – a digital skills project (£2,000); Charlton Power Up – a project aimed at teenage girls (£1,975); Dancewalking for Wellbeing – a Greenwich Dance project (£1,840); Staying Connected – a Global Fusion Music and Arts project with tai chi, art classes and meditation (£1,430); Feel Good Yoga (£1,200); NuVitality Fit FamJam (£897.42); Weekly Saturday Chi Gong and Tai Chi Exercise (£497.58).
The projects have to be delivered within the next six months.