Forest Gate Festival is back! Write it down, Saturday 2nd July is the big day.

Our Festival ran every year from 1999, apart from the last two years when covid necessitated its cancellation. But nothing daunted, here we are, promising a bumper day to blow the blues away. Our celebration is a street festival on Osborne Road, off Woodgrange, the road with the dentist on one corner and the forever hoardings round the derelict Methodist Church.

The Festival runs from 11am to 6pm. Residents move their cars from the street by 10am. In past years we have had, over the course of the day, up to 5000 visitors. Lining the street will be a variety of stalls with arts and crafts, bric a brac, food and drink, community groups, ranging from Forest Gate Community Garden, Forest Gate Women’s Institute, Religious Groups, Charities, Woodcraft Folk, Newham Writers Workshop and a host of others.

If you want to book a stall, get in quick, pitches are being gobbled up so if you'd like to get involved you can apply here.

I have taken one myself, where I’ll be selling my Forest Gate crime series, Jack of All Trades. As the Festival Treasurer, I shall take care to sign a book and not a cheque in all the excitement. I live just up the road, on Earlham Grove, and so shall borrow a wheelbarrow from Forest Gate Community Garden where I am a volunteer (and write their blog) and wheel my wares and a table down the road to Osborne on the big day.

Anyone who is anyone will be there. Why would you want to be anywhere else? The Mayor of Newham, Rokhsana Fiaz, is a usual visitor as is Lyn Brown MP, and local councillors. You will meet people you haven’t seen for years. And if you don’t really want to see them, then you can slip into the mêlée.

If it’s food you are after, then we have a big menu for you: Asian dishes, Chinese, African and Caribbean food, as well as cakes galore and ice cream. So filled to the brim, why not make your way to the stage at the far end.

Take a seat and enjoy bands, choirs, and solo artists, amateur and professional, throughout the day. Some you may know like Forest Gayte Pride's Rob DesRoches with his blues folk, Forest Voices and King Toadfish.

Absolute Bollywood will be teaching Indian dance and the Uniao De Mocidade Samba band will lead a multi costumed procession. Dance if you will.

Kay Rowe, the Council Nursery on the street, will run activities for young children. For older children, we are booking a climbing wall as well as Smiffy's pedal cycle generators powering game boys, two Casio keyboards, and a bubble machine. Along the street, mid the stalls, there will be dancers, stilt walkers and local magician, Johnny Macaulay. He has promised to cast a spell guaranteeing sunshine.

It’ll be great to be back after a dull two years. Come and enjoy all the fun of the Festival on Saturday 2nd July!

For for further updates check out the Forest Gate Festival website or follow @fgfestivale7