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St Marie’s Cathedral celebrated the ¡Hola Sheffield! Festival in Sheffield’s Winter Garden. The festival was a one-day family-friendly free event which showcased the unique cultural expressions of St Marie’s Spanish-speaking communities.  It also promoted the understanding between different groups in Sheffield.

St Maries Spanish Festival 2 (Copy)  The festival was a huge success with more than 1800 people attending throughout the day.  “It was a really fun and uplifting event.  It was amazing to see so many people chatting, dancing and sharing experiences.  Visitors were also extremely interested in finding out more about the Cathedral and its communities, and I think the festival can be considered a milestone in St Marie’s heritage project,” said Laura Claveria, Heritage Engagement and Learning Officer at St Marie’s Cathedral.

  The programme included family-friendly crafts where children created and decorated their own Mexican sugar skulls, Amate paintings and Spanish fans, and got fabulous face paintings.  In the afternoon Son de America, a Latin-American St Maries Spanish Festival 1 (Copy)folk dance group, delighted and entertained children and adults alike with their vibrant choreographies and colourful costumes.  This was followed by the live music of Los Lads who got people of all ages dancing to Latin rhythms.

  The festival was rounded off in the evening with a classical Spanish guitar concert by Andrew Clegg at St Marie’s Cathedral.  Andrew Clegg presented his new album ‘Tiger and the Lily’ in which he takes elements from Flamenco and St Maries Spanish Festival 3 (Copy)traditional guitar to create a new exciting fusion of sound.

  “It was a truly unforgettable day.  I can only say a big thankful to all the visitors who joined us and all the volunteers who made this event possible,” added Laura.

  Visitors to the Winter Garden also had the chance to see the preview of a fascinating exhibition on the Spanish-speaking communities of St Marie’s which is currently displayed at the Catholic Cathedral (until 16 September).  The exhibition explores the personal stories and experiences of this community in both their countries of origin and Sheffield, their new home.

For further information on St Marie’s events and activities visit http://www.stmariecathedral.org/.