Sheffield’s first Eid Festival brings diverse city together

Noreen Rabani, Rukhsana Razaq, Nusreen Rabani and Zain Ahmed selling their delicious food at the Eid Bazar
Noreen Rabani, Rukhsana Razaq, Nusreen Rabani and Zain Ahmed selling their delicious food at the Eid Bazar
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Sheffield’s first ever Eid festival has been hailed a major success after the celebration attracted around 12,000 people.

Families flocked to enjoy a full day of entertainment at Millhouses Park – with traffic stretching down to London Road.

They feasted on food, shopped in a bazaar area packed with 80 stalls and watched musical performances on the main stage in recognition of the Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan.

Sporting clubs - from football to boxing - also helped people try new activities for the first time.

The festival, on Saturday, was organised by the Sheffield Heritage Foundation, which offers a support network to people who have embraced Islam.

Director and events manager Jonathan Williams, of Arbourthorne, said: “The festival was open to everyone, regardless of religion.

“We wanted to hold something where we could celebrate with the whole city and it is a way of bringing people together because Sheffield is very diverse already.

“It went brilliantly. We didn’t expect so many people to come along.

“The traffic went all the way down to London Road and they said we had 10,000–12,000 people there throughout the day.

“It’s the first time we’ve done it and the first time there has been an Eid festival of this size in the city.”

The festival was aimed at families and included a toddler area, with toys and activities for little ones.

Sporting Equals – which aims to get more ethnic minorities into sport – had an interactive sport zone with Rotherham boxer Atif Shafiq on hand to give tips.

Performers included Sheffield singer Ahmed Hussain.

Jonathan Williams, a 38-year-old education consultant, said community donations and support from local businesses had helped pay for the festival.

He added: “We would definitely like to hold it again and are going to have a meeting with the council about it.”