Brentford hosted its first ever canal festival on Saturday 5th June, celebrating its waterways to bring the local community together.

The inaugural event, which lasted from noon to 6pm, had a variety of different activities for people to enjoy, including live music, dancing, boat trips, arts and crafts, and food stalls.

The festival was initially supposed to take place last year but was later deferred due to the coronavirus Delta variant.

To reflect Brentford’s cultural diversity, the festival featured traditional dances from India, Albania and Kosovo; countries to which a sizeable number of the Brentford population have ethnic links.

Showcasing some of the community’s youngest talent, all-girl Albanian-Kosovan dance group, Iliria, performed in the evening, at Market Place.

The group was named after what Albania was once called during the Classical Era, Illyria.

According to 16-year-old group leader Greta some of the music selected to were protest songs from the Kosovo War, stressing the importance of Kosovan identity, while others were common party songs played at Albanian and Kosovan events.

The performance proved to be a distinct favourite among the public, as towards the end of the performance, children, festival volunteers, parents and adolescents joined the group and learnt some traditional dance moves.

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