9th August 2023
Swindon Ukrainians Announce Festival. Swindon Welcomes Ukraine – is a group created to support the Ukrainians arriving under the Home for Ukraine scheme.
They’ve decided to host a Ukrainian inspired festival of music, food and culture on 24th August – Ukrainian Independence Day -called ‘Ukraine Fest’. The group, made up of hosts and Ukrainians, are holding the festival around the bandstand area in Old Town’s town gardens. They’re planning an afternoon of immersive experiences linked to Ukraine.
The group’s chairperson, Sofiia Volovyk, says she’s excited to be bringing some Ukrainian culture to Swindon.
An expression of thanks
‘We’re so grateful to the people of Swindon for welcoming us. So we want to do something exciting for them and showcase our culture, music, and food. On the day, we’re planning live music. That will be a fusion of Ukrainian and English performers and songs. Further, we’ll have Old Town food vendors doing Ukrainian inspired menus. There’ll be a huge bubble show from a Ukrainian childrens’ entertainer along with:
- Flower wreath making and…
- … pop up projects like a Ukrainian inspired photography wall and some other surprises.
We wanted to hold it in Old Town as Town Gardens is a favourite of our Ukrainian community. And South Swindon Parish Council were so supportive of what we are trying to achieve.’
The festival will run from 2pm till 10pm with the afternoon’s activities designed for families and children. The early evening will switch to more upbeat music and activities designed for adults. Kris Talikowski Vice-chair of the committee added: ‘We want to attract the whole community from Swindon and, we hope, across the county. The team are working on making the afternoon as family friendly as possible. And then we’ll have some Ukrainian dance music in the early evening via a silent disco. And Ukrainian inspired drinks from Old Town favourites the Hop Kettle.’
Efforts and achievements
The committee have achieved significant recognition for their work since they launched in March last year. Sofiia has raised thousands for charity by walking from Swindon to Ben Nevis. She’s also received a nomination for a BBC award. Their bike project has also seen over 200 bikes fixed up and donated to Ukrainians. They also organise social activities to bring the community together, but this will be their biggest event yet. Neil Hopkins, chair of South Swindon Parish Council added:
‘We fully support the work of Swindon Welcomes Ukraine and it’s great that Swindon has opened its arms to refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine. The Parish are very excited to see this idea brought to life, and we encourage all Swindon to come and visit.’