Southend Festival returns long-lost event to Market Place

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A week after inviting visitors and local residents to Paint the Town in Market Place, just off Alexandra Street, Southend Festival returned on Saturday 6 July to host a fabulous flea market.

Partnering with Kiss Me Quick Vintage, the event offered a superb array of vintage clothes, curios and collectables to enthusiastic customers in the newly colourful and quirky setting of this often all-too overlooked part of the town centre.

The flea market was complimented with a buskers’ performance area, creating a charming musical backdrop to the new initiative. As befits the overarching nature of the Southend Festival, many of the stalls gave opportunities to local makers and artists to sell their unique, hand-made pieces.

Meanwhile, book lovers, had a chance to meet and hear local authors read from an discuss their work at The Forum in Elmer Square. Southend Area Local Authors’ Day – better known as SALAD – was hosted by writers, poets and artists who live and work in the town and they enjoyed introducing pieces they’d written an illustrated for a wide range of genres, including children’s, teenage, adult, history, science fiction, poetry, fiction and non-fiction.

Rebecca Venn, Co-Ordinator for Southend Business Improvement District (BID) said: “The new Flea Market was just fantastic. There was such a buzz in, what is normally a relatively quiet part of town. The event brilliantly returned the meaning and purpose to what is the town’s historic and traditional market.”

She added: “The entertainment on the High Street was also fantastic. I believe that the BID-supported Southend Festival is really changing negative perceptions, showing what a vibrant, and culturally diverse, place our town is.”

The Southend Festival continues until 14 July. For more information, search www.thesouthendfestival.co.uk

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