Community Street Fair

Now that the Summer is here and I am back in Lancaster, I am finding new ways to get involved in my community. As a student, it is rare to live on a street that has a community feel. Lancaster is plagued by ‘student’ streets that suffer from the constant changing of residents.

But, just a short walk away from town there are estates that house more permanent residents, including families, elderly couples, and young professionals. And, I’m fortunate to have finally found one of those streets!

Since I moved back to Lancaster in May, there has been talks about hosting a Street Fair. Arranged by key members of the community, the fair was an opportunity for residents to meet in person in an open, safe environment. After months of isolation and chatting primarily through a community Whatsapp, the street hosted a crowd of smiling faces on Sunday 27th June.

Packed with stalls selling homemade crafts, jams, and locally sourced bric brac, residents from neighbouring streets came to join in the celebration, dancing to musical performances and donating to beloved charities. Children decorated the road with chalk drawings of sunshine and rainbows, while fabric bunting hung overhead.

Despite a cloudy sky, the smiling faces, singing, and colour lit up the street, bringing it to life after months of quiet.

Before the event, I approached the main organiser, Jill, and asked to capture the day. As an amateur photographer, I’m keen to get experience and improve my craft where I can and the Street Fair offered the perfect opportunity to delve into portraiture and event photography – a skill that may come in handy through my Marketing career.

Myself and another amateur photographer spent hours snapping shots of smiling faces, petting pups, and sipping on sangria. It was the perfect chance to get to know my new community as I waded through the crowd and captured my neighbours in deep conversations, singing ballads, and passionately discussing their homemade products.

Typically drawn to nature, this was an out of box experience that encouraged me to engage in small talk and request permission from my subjects, something I don’t normally do when shooting flowers. nature Plus, unlike plants and flora, event photography involves a chaos that I struggled with, especially as someone who has an audio processing disorder working in a loud environment.

However, I had a brilliant time chatting to everyone while snapping their picture!

I honestly cannot wait to see what our community does next! I have my fingers crossed for a Christmas Street Fair or a Garden Party, but we’ll have to wait and see. And I’m sure I’ll be there, camera in hand, no matter the occasion.

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