Monday 23 April 2018

A Street Feast of pure imagination

A screening of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and a sweet bake off launched the fifth year of the popular festival...

Patricia Murphy

Patricia Murphy

A world of pure imagination was found in Dublin’s Fitzwilliam Square on Thursday as an outdoor screening of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory kicked off this year’s Street Feast festival.

Hundreds of people flocked to the park, arms laden with cake, to take part in a chocolate themed bake off before the movie to celebrate the launch of the festival’s fifth year.

“Tonight’s screening of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is to kick off Street Feast which is a national day of street parties that’s happening on the 15th of June.

“This is the fifth year that we’re running it and we’re hoping that thousands of people join with their neighbours and have a street feast on their street or lane way or front garden throughout the next month,” said Street Feast founder Sam Bishop.

Thursday’s event was held in collaboration with Dublin event company Happenings who regularly hold pop-up screenings throughout the country.

“This year we decided to join forces with Happenings because we both have similar ideas and because neither is sponsored, it can be easier working together to hold these special events,” said Sam.

In preparation for the sweet outdoor screening, a number of golden tickets were hidden throughout the city centre, encouraging Twitter followers to embark on a hunt similar to that undertaken by young Charlie in the 1971 classic.

“Because it’s Willy Wonka we thought it would be fun to hide a few golden tickets around the city.

“People around the city were looking for them and we also left them on people’s doorways who then tweeted us. It;s a great way to generate a buzz and intrigue," said Sam.

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Happenings founder Peter O’Brien happily judged the evening’s bake off, a picnic table heavy with treats that even Augustus Gloop would have had difficulty demolishing.

“We weren’t even sure people would show up with cakes at all but it will be hard to pick a winner, although there’s a chocolate brownie over there that was particularly good.

“That’s what’s great about these events. You never know how they will turn out, what kind of people will turn up and that is what makes them so exciting and appealing,” he said.

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Hundreds of people sprawled across the glass happily sipping beers and tucking into produce from Irish Village Markets before familiar tune ‘Pure Imagination’ twinkled as the sun set. 

“I think these events are so popular because they are really relaxed and inclusive. You can do what you want here and people wander around and meet people they wouldn’t have otherwise. It’s really special and that’s the vibe that we’re going for,” Sam finished before joining the chocolate delirious crowd.

For more information visit www.streetfeast.ie or www.happenings.ie

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