Limehouse to host Tour de France themed festival this Sunday


A shindig gearing up enthusiasm for the Tour de France's visit to east London has created a buzz encompassing more than the cycling spectacle.

Mark Slankard, chairman of the Limehouse Community Forum coordinating this Sunday's free Le Tour De Limehouse Festival, said the celebrations would also revive a tradition.

"There was a festival of one type or another in Limehouse going back decades," said the 52-year-old, who has been at the helm of the area's Urban Bar for the past 16 years.

"In 2007, it ended, so we are reviving it. Previous festivals were called the Narrow Street Fete and had other guises over the years but this is Limehouse back with a bang - you don't realise what you have got until you lose it."

Ropemakers Fields in Narrow Street will be at the heart of the action from noon, with an array of live music, fun and a tug of war.

A bar will have French wine in full flow alongside Le Champion Tour de France beer by Timothy Taylor brewery, with food whipped up by local eateries including Noodle Street and free ice cream from Cafe Vesuvio.

There will be a fitness zone, cycle safety roadshow by Transport for London and a cycle smoothie bike to tie in with the two-wheeled theme while traditional fairground sideshows and stalls will entertain the crowds.

Prize giving will be taken on by actor Sir Ian McKellen, owner of The Grapes pub.

Meanwhile a large screen will show the Wimbledon Men's Final.

Mark said: "Limehouse many times feels left out under the shadows of Canary Wharf and this is about getting families to meet each other and take part in the community. It's really important for us to have our identity."

Le Tour De Limehouse Festival, Sunday July 6, Ropemakers Fields. Entrance is free. Runs from noon until 5pm. Email or go to the Le Tour de Limehouse Festival Facebook page.