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Windrush 76 Festival - A Two-Day Celebration of Culture in Preston

14 June 2024

Crowds of people at the Windrush Festival 75 in 2023

Crowds of people at the Windrush Festival 75 in 2023

With a jammed packed schedule from 12pm to 8pm, Windrush 76 promises to be bigger and better than ever, bringing all the colour, good vibes and soulful music of the Caribbean, celebrating the city's African-Caribbean and mixed-race community.

Throughout the day visitors will enjoy live music and DJ sets, dancing, a live cricket match, a selection of non-food stalls, children's play area, a wide selection of international cuisines including tastes of the Caribbean, and also a live demonstration from Christine Cherry, a finalist on Channel 4's hit TV show The Great Pottery Throwdown 2022.

The Windrush Festival was established in 2013 as a family-orientated, multi-generational, cross-cultural festival. The event both acknowledges and celebrates the contribution of people from the Caribbean who came to England to help rebuild Britain after World War II.

The celebration reaffirms Caribbean identity, history, and culture for the descendants of the Windrush generation and the wider community. Windrush 76 Festival acts as a meeting space for friends, families, and communities to come together, share stories and remember the past.

Adrian Murrell, Co-founder of Windrush 76 Festival said:

"The festival has a real community vibe about it and when I say community vibe, I mean Preston's multi-cultural, multi-racial community and it's an amazing event to be part of."

Sarah Threlfall, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Community and Wellbeing at Preston City Council said:

"As we commemorate the 76th anniversary of the Empire Windrush's arrival on UK soil, the Windrush Festival serves as a powerful tribute to the legacy of the Windrush generation. This festival not only highlights their invaluable contributions to our society but also fosters a spirit of unity and cultural appreciation among our diverse communities.

We are proud to support this event and look forward to its continued growth and success in years to come."

The festival, which combines music, entertainment, food, and drinks, provides a secure space for communities to unite. In 2023, Preston City Council estimated that more than 3000 people attended the event, drawing visitors from London, Birmingham, Leicester, Wolverhampton, Stoke-On-Trent, Sunderland, Hull, Huddersfield, Manchester. This was accomplished with minimal promotion, with event awareness spread through word of mouth, giving the event a sense of authenticity and integrity.

For more information about the Windrush 76 Festival, please see Visit Preston - Windrush Festival 76 2024.

The Arthur Wharton Cup - Saturday, 22 June 2024

This year there will be a special exhibition football match to celebrate National Windrush Day on Saturday 22 June 2024. The inaugural Arthur Wharton Cup football tournament will take place at The University of Central Lancashire's Sports Arena from 11am where the team from Lancashire Fire and Rescue will battle it out for the trophy against Windrush F.C.

The exhibition match, supported by GRACE - the Global Race Centre for Equality Research at the University of Central Lancashire, is in honour of Arthur Wharton, the world's first black professional footballer who joined Preston North End as an amateur in 1886. Originally from Ghana, he played for the Invincibles from 1886 - 1888.

He subsequently left Preston North End for Rotherham Town, signing a contract to play in the English Football League. In 1886, he also took the title of National 100 yards Champion in a race run by the Amateur Athletics Association, and a year later, he set a record time for cycling between Preston and Blackburn. He retired from football in 1902 and died in 1930.

There is a blue plaque in his honour at PNE's Deepdale Football stadium.

A picture of football player Arthur Wharton

Adrian Murrell, Director and Co-Founder of Windrush Initiatives CIC said:

"We wanted to celebrate National Windrush Day in a special way this year, honouring a black sports legend, famous to Preston, whilst also encouraging exercise for all, whatever energy level, age and ability.

"We host and signpost lots of different activities from our community hub, from ladies walking groups, to walking football and men's health groups. We encourage people to get in touch to find out what activities are available and to get involved. Exercise doesn't have to be high energy, just meeting up, having a laugh with like-minded people and getting some fresh air is always good for the body and soul."

Dr John Wainwright, Co-Director for the Global Race Centre for Equality (GRACE) at the University of Central Lancashire said:

"The Global Race Centre for Equality (GRACE) through UCLan are proud to work in partnership with Windrush CIC to celebrate the life of Arthur Wharton as Preston North End's First Black footballer.

"Through co working with Windrush and Black footballers to come together to play this match we are acknowledging the invaluable and admirable contribution that Arthur Wharton and all Black footballers have made toward racial equality not only in football, but in communities and society more generally."

The event celebrates black, mixed race and African Caribbean sporting achievements and special guests from the world of sport will be in attendance including Oshor Williams, Preston North End's first black captain, Howard Gayle the first black footballer to play for Liverpool and Blackburn, Ken Monkou, Dutch former footballer and TV pundit, and Shaun Campbell, founder of the Arthur Wharton Foundation. Music on the day will be provided by DJ Toro, who is a regular feature at Trinidad's carnival and the Windrush Festival.

Shaun Campbell, has granted permission to hold the competition, which is intended to become an annual event. Undefeated Windrush United (formed in 2009) will be playing against Lancashire Fire and Rescue in their new bespoke football kit that was sponsored by Smile it's Free Productions and The Arthur Wharton Foundation.

Lancashire Fire and Rescue are actively recruiting from the African / Caribbean community and have been working closely with Windrush Initiatives CIC for the past two years.

The goal of both events is to bring together diverse communities and age ranges to celebrate and share the achievements of the Windrush and subsequent generations. There is a strong educational element included in both events as the history and experience of the communities will be shared.

The events also provide an opportunity for members of other communities in Preston that haven't experienced The Windrush Festival before, and that may ordinarily not mix, to come together in an informal space to share and reflect on their own identities and the discrimination they have faced. The events celebrate diversity and seek to forge new relationships across the city and beyond.

For more information about the Arthur Wharton Cup, please see Visit Preston - The Arthur Wharton Cup - Windrush Festival.

Map address for Avenham and Miller Parks

  • Avenham and Miller Park: S Meadow Ln, Preston, PR1 8JP

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