On Sunday 3rd March, we had a little gathering to celebrate the relaunch of FEAST in 2013. I say ‘little’, but in the end, we had around 500 visitors to the event that involved the many brilliant people and things in West Norwood. From all the volunteers who give up their free time to organise FEAST each month (and in between…), to groups like Norwood Forum, Friends of West Norwood Library and Southside Rehabilitation Association, all of whom work and campaign tirelessly for a better West Norwood, it was hard not to appreciate what a great place it is we live in.

Our pop-up cafe offered such a variety of delicious dainties, all so mouthwateringly enticing it was hard to believe they were all donated by generous FEAST volunteers and not created in a high-end pastry kitchen. We had a raffle where each prize consisted of a local experience, rather than a tangible ‘thing’ – coffee and cake for two at Beamish & McGlue; £20 to spend at Whittaker’s Fishmonger; the idea being to bring people onto their high street, to experience the great things on offer, and to potentially create new relationships between locals and shop owners.

If you popped down with your kids, it’s quite likely they went home a little more covered in glitter than when they arrived! Our kids activity area was busy throughout the day, with colouring in, crown-making and the aforementioned glittery decorating. On top of this, we had a real treat when local story-teller Karen Owen arrived and tickled our imaginations with her creative tales.

And of course, as a ‘relaunch’, we made sure to focus on the future, not only of FEAST, but of West Norwood as a whole. Each market hub had an area to let visitors know what will be happening in the coming year – the Gardeners Corner transformed into Fresh n Green to encompass fresh produce as well as flowers and plants; samples of the kinds of food on offer at the Food Fair; arty activities at Artisans; and the chance to win £10 to spend at the Retro Village.

In addition, we were lucky enough to have the guys from Picturehouse down to let everyone know about the exciting cinema developments at Nettlefold Hall; and Axel, our designer, displayed his plans for the big FEAST rebrand happening in the coming year.

We hope you enjoyed the day as much as we did, and we really hope to see you all again on Sunday 7th April when the FEAST markets begin again.