Firstly this was a wonderful event. Everyone I spoke to was lovely. It was suitable for all ages so I took my son. As it was a pagan event I obviously went with my husband and boyfriend them both being vikings. I only got a couple of funny looks for clearly being with both of them or maybe the looks were to do with the antlers, so I would say it was poly friendly I would say they were everything friendly I don’t think there is anyone who wouldn’t have been welcome. I am sure I saw it stated somewhere that you didn’t even have to be pagan just respectful.
So we turned up at the starting point for the parade. As soon as we were off the tram people started talking to us, helping each other find exactly where we were going. There was a huge sense of community spirit which I have missed having not been to a pagan event for a while. We easily found the rest of the parade mainly because from round the corner you could hear the delightful Esme getting everyone in the mood. There were at least 100 people just gathered around talking, laughing and looking very happy. I saw some of the best outfits I had in ages, people had made a real effort there were fairies, robes, corsets, steampunk outfits, belly dancers and traditional period costumes amongst other things. I myself was dressed in green with antlers. The parade was great I think all in all there must have been several hundred people involved.
The people we passed in the street cheered and smiled and looked like they enjoyed seeing us pass by. It was lovely.
Once in the park we saw loads of stalls, speaking tents, music in the band stand, an arts tent and a children’s area. There were so many talks, bands and dancers we really struggled to pick what we wanted to see. In the end we saw James J Turner who was a lovely way to start the day, then a little bit of Red Fire Ants who I thought were fantastic and had a really interesting sound. The first talk we went to was Taz Thornton-Clearwater- Remembering Our Forgotten Lands this was definitely mine and my sons favourite of the day. I love the animated way she speaks and the amount of passion she has for what she is talking to. We did some journeying during this session which all four of us got something from me and little one especially as the journeying involved local dragon spirits and that is something we have discussed before and he is very interested in. After the journeying we talked about our experiences and she really took what he had to say seriously which made him so happy and I really appreciate, although I do believe she was genuinely interested in what he had to say. He has talked of dragons to everyone since it has been pretty amazing.
We also saw Barbara Meiklejohn-Free – The Power Of The Wise who did some more journeying which little one and the husband took part in and both definitely got something from. The last talk we saw was Dean Kirkland – Yggdrasil’s Road; Shamanism and The Northern Tradition which was interesting, recapped lots I already knew, which made me realise how much I have learnt about the northern tradition over the years and I learnt a few new things. We also saw some of Way of the Wyrd Morris Dance, BlackPeacock BellyDance and Beatrice Flowers Tribal Bellydance who were all fantasic. We met The Dragon Keeper and Frazzles the dragon who sang for my son which made him very happy.
There were so many stalls I am not sure I saw them all but I bought some lovely mead from The Lancashire Mead Company who gave tasters of everything so I could pick the ones I liked, I also bought a lovely new scrying bowl from The Green Man Pottery and a present for my sister Tink. There was so much I didn’t see and I will definitely be going again next year.