Preston's 'Feast for Peace' a huge success

04 August 2016

A 'Feast for Peace', a celebration of Preston’s cultural diversity, opened by the Mayor of Preston, Councillor John Collins, was held on the city’s Flag Market on Saturday afternoon 23rd July. Over 1000 people came together to eat, listen to music and dance together

Feast for Peace organiser, Kay Johnson, Director of Lancashire and Region Dietary Education Resource (The Larder) and founder of the Preston Food Partnership, managed to organise the event in just over 3 weeks in response to concerns about rising racist abuse and hate crimes after the referendum, and a wish to celebrate the diverse communities of Preston.

Kay said: "The concept was really simple. It involved getting people together to celebrate diversity through cooking and enjoying multicultural influences from around the World whether it be dancing, music or a taste of something new.

In a very short time, a group of incredible people from all parts of Preston’s multicultural community pooled their expertise and resources to help organise Feast for Peace which sent out the message to the people of the city (and the rest of Lancashire) that 'if we can eat together we can live together'.

“We invited the people of Preston and beyond to leave their labels behind to share a delicious meal together, listen to some music and join in with some dancing. We had a team of culinary experts who created delicious meals from around the world. We also had amazing world music from DJs, bands and Samba drummers and dancers.’’

Cllr Peter Rankin, the Leader of Preston City Council, in his support for Feast for Peace is calling for more celebrations of this nature: "This is what Preston is all about, a diverse community of people living in harmony. And how better to express that togetherness than to share and enjoy our food? Wouldn't it be great if we could do this on a regular basis?"

This event builds on the successes of similar events held over the last year, such as Disco Soup and Pumpkin Fest where Kay and her colleagues fed around 400 people with ingredients that would otherwise have gone to waste.

The event had no funding and was based on goodwill and hard work by all involved with the chefs, performers and helpers all giving their time for free. The donated ingredients came from Fareshare, Morrisons, Aldi, Booths, Ralph Livesey and Worthington’s Farm in Tarleton. Some small donations were used to buy gas stoves and some basic equipment. Preston City Council got behind the event by giving staff time and free hire of gazebos, chairs and tables. Harris Museum staff opened up facilities for dressing rooms and washing up!

The event was supported by Preston City Council, Windrush Initiative, Mystery Tea House and the Creative Communities Group of the University of Central Lancashire.

Watch the event's coverage by That's Lancashire TV


Leon Ballin
Sustainable Food Cities
07 917 230 121

Sustainable Food Cities is a partnership programme run by

Soil Association

Food Matters

Esmée Fairbairn Foundation
Sustainable Food Cities is funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation

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