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Leicester city centre is set to be transformed into the venue for 11 days of family-friendly fun with the return of the annual City Festival.

The event, which runs from August 17 to 27, will feature a huge programme of arts, music and dance, as well as sports, activities, heritage events and scores of attractions for all ages.

Photo Credit: Leicester City Council

City Festival will be centred around Gallowtree Gate, Humberstone Gate West and the Clock Tower, bringing the festival atmosphere to the heart of the city centre.

Highlights include the chance to enjoy a Bollywood blockbuster movie under the stars at the Outdoor Cinema, on Friday, August 11 from 7.30pm to 11pm.

The Cosmopolitan Carnival will bring celebrations to Jubilee Square, High Street, the Clock Tower and Humberstone Gate, with a packed programme of arts, music and dancing. It takes place on Saturday, August 18, from 2pm to 9.30pm.

Leicester Belgrave Mela will bring the opening weekend to a close by bringing South Asian art, dance, music, food and the UK’s biggest shopping bazaar to the city centre.

A new programme of events known as ‘Dancing in the Streets’ will run throughout the festival, giving visitors the chance to get involved in free taster sessions covering different styles of dance from ballroom to swing. The sessions take place daily from Monday, August 20, to Saturday, August 25.

Photo Credit: Leicester City Council

City Streets, a four-day interactive street arts festival and skate park, will take place in the city centre from Wednesday, August 22 to Saturday, August 25, while the Journeys Weekender will celebrate influences from around the world, with workshops and music on August 25 and 26.

The curiously-named ‘Shh…It’s St Martin’s Square Sunday’ will provide a Bank Holiday Sunday of fun and entertainment among the city’s independent shops, from 12noon to 7pm.

Events come to a climax on Bank Holiday Monday, (August 27) with the Old Town Family Day at Jubilee Square, bringing together history-themed fun activities, entertainment and a tented village. It runs from 11am to 5pm.

At neighbouring Wygston’s House, local artists and photographers will be able to display and sell their work as part of the latest Art in the City programme, following the success of the same scheme at this year’s Riverside Festival.

Artists will be able to exhibit and sell their works along the railings of the historic building, from 12noon to 5pm.

Leicester deputy city mayor Cllr Piara Singh Clair said: “With 11 days of free, family-friendly activities in the city centre, City Festival is wonderful way to round off the school summer holidays.

“There is a huge range of events which will transform the city centre into a riot of colour, music, art and above all fun for all ages.”

Full details are available at


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