TALENTED young people from across Sheffield are putting up a united front against racism and prejudice in a celebration of the city’s multiculturalism.
An army of singers, dancers, musicians and cheerleaders will bring the city centre alive with performances for the One Sheffield Many Cultures festival next Saturday, May 19.
A stage will be set up outside City Hall, where pupils from 10 secondary schools will showcase their skills with a multicultural theme and battle it out to be named best live act.
The free, one-day festival, now in its second year, will be opened by Sheffield’s new Lord Mayor Coun John Campbell at 12noon.
The event was founded by faith leaders and organisations across Sheffield to counteract the influence of groups such as the far-right English Defence League by promoting and celebrating the diversity of life in the city.
Father Shaun Smith, chairman of One Sheffield Many Cultures, said: “The festival started as an initiative from us faith leaders working with Unite Against Fascism as we were concerned about groups like the EDL and believed there was a need to have a high-profile celebration of multiculturalism.
“This year I thought it would be good to get schools involved to help instil in pupils the sense of being citizens of a multicultural city.
“It is very important to involve young people in this sort of project and the response we have had has been very good.”
Organisers are hoping to draw big crowds by making the event as family-friendly as possible.
Along with the on-stage performances, there will be speakers from community organisations, stalls, face painting and street entertainment from Swamp Circus.
A marquee will be set up in the stage area to ensure festival-goers are covered whatever the weather.
An inflatable football pitch where children can play three-a-side soccer, provided by Sheffield’s Football Unites, Racism Divides, will be set up at Barker’s Pool.
Winners of the best live act will be announced during the week after the festival.