Big Green Week kicks off in Bristol
BRISTOL's Big Green Week is finally here. A nine-day festival of environmental ideas, arts and culture, starts on Saturday with the biggest ever St Nicholas Market and a host of other attractions.
From 10am to 4pm, Bristol's Big Market will take over large parts of the centre, including Corn Street. Small Street, Clare Street and St Stephen's Avenue.
More than 200 stalls will offer visitors an array of food and drink, arts, crafts, books, renewable energy products and tips, and vintage and retro items in Retroville on Marsh Street.
On the Harbourside and fountains area of St Augustine Parade, there will be another market showcasing fair trade goods, local producers and independent businesses.
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At noon, the Bristol Mermaid comes ashore on the Cascade Steps and there will be a best-dressed little mermaid competition.
On Sunday, Park Street will be turned into a playground as children make bunting, create street chalk drawings and test-ride electric bikes between noon and 4pm.
From 1pm, the Raleigh Stunt Team will try to break world records while Red Dwarf star and presenter of Scrapheap Challenge, Robert Llewellyn, will compere the first Electric Bike World Championships from 2pm.
At 4pm there will be a giant ceilidh down Park Street, normally one of Bristol's busiest roads.
Big Green Week runs until Sunday, June 17.
There will be events, talks, screenings and lectures every day next week at venues including the Colston Hall, the Watershed, The Passenger Shed Arnolfini, M shed, At-Bristol, Berkeley Square Hotel, Mercure Holland House hotel and Bristol Cathedral.
Peter Madden, the chief executive of environmental green charity Forum for the Future, is one of the people behind the festival.
He said: "Bristol is developing a reputation as the greenest city in the UK – it is a place where individuals and organisations set up amazing environmental projects and events.
"We thought it would be great to have a week of fun green events, which would encourage people to come to Bristol but also would be for the people of Bristol.
"There are lots of green events in Bristol already, but there are not many that people would travel for from places like London, Manchester or Birmingham. We want to gather up that energy, all those things happening in Bristol, and make it all happen in a single week. We want to put Bristol on the map.
"Nowhere in the country holds an event like this. People in the UK are more and more interested in environmental issues and how to live a green lifestyle. We want to make Bristol the place for this, and then build on that year on year."
Speakers have been confirmed to include fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, Mr Llewellyn, Dragon's Den's Deborah Meaden, designer and TV presenter Kevin McCloud and food guru Prue Leith.
On the final weekend, June 16 and 17, there will be the annual Festival of Nature – Europe's biggest free nature festival held in a tented village across the Harbourside.
And on the final Sunday Bristol's Biggest Bike Ride takes place – the annual city council-organised event which starts and finishes at the Festival of Nature.
Big Green Week's main sponsors are Bristol City Council, Good Energy, Wessex Water and Triodos bank, with many more businesses, including the Post, also on board.
Half of the events are free of charge, but others have admission prices.
The £10 discount Green Pass wristband is the best value way to enjoy the week, with reduced price tickets, as well as discounts at cafes, restaurants and bars around the festival.
For a full programme of events, offers and entry prices, visit www.biggreenweek.com, call 01179 223686, or search for Big Green Week on Facebook or Twitter.