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Celebrating street life

If there’s one place in Cyprus known for its get-up-and-go, it’s Limassol. This is a town that’s developed a reputation for dynamism and vitality, a place where a quiet weekend indoors just won’t cut it when you could be pounding the boards of the coastal walk, biking the rich hinterland or splashing into the briny blue. Thousands pour into the town each year for its exciting outdoor events: the Sunshine Cup, the Limassol Marathon, The Ioannideia Regatta, Run in Colour… Limassol, it seems, is a town that likes to be out in the open and living life to the fullest…Which is why the upcoming Street Life Festival is bound to be an absolute blast!

Organised by Gifts and Gadgets and The Copy Shop, the annual Street Life Festival is an all-day event which brings more than 10,000 people out onto the streets of Limassol in what organisers describe as “the biggest annual festival organised in the old town of Limassol”. Now in its tenth year, the festival takes over Saripolou and Athenon, bringing “a funky and alternative twist to the city of Limassol, to inspire expression, to bring people together and to offer an urban perspective that resembles that of other European cities”. It’s an event that sees the best of outdoor activities all rolled into one, from the athletic extremes – “incredible choreography, cool stunts with skateboards” – to the highly amusing – “jugglers and street performers”.

“Street Life is unique,” says Yiotis Ttofis Kyriacou, one of the organisers. “It’s an event which attracts people of all ages, and is great for the entire family, because it combines many activities, music, dance, a bazaar, skateboarding, graffiti, workshops, and competitions, and people come from all over Cyprus.”

Celebrating street life

Billed as the largest street festival on the island, this is an event which is always incredibly exciting. And well-organised. “As soon as one year’s festival is over, we’re organising the next: co-operating constantly with the Limassol Municipality, the mayor, the cultural department, technical services and even the traffic wardens. This year,” Yiotis adds, “the municipality has granted us even more space, so there will be more than 100 stalls…”

Juggling accessories and comic books, stamps and homemade handicrafts will all go on sale in the many kiosks, alongside stalls purveying magic tricks, gorgeous clothing and stunning accessories. There’s also a philanthropic element to the proceedings, with stalls representing such charitable entities as the Sophia for Children Foundation, the Sirius Dog Sanctuary and Friends of the Earth.

If the street market is the mainstay of the event, the highlight is surely its artwork. Over the years, the Street Life Festival has become widely known for its incredible street art, with designated walls becoming both the canvas and the inspiration for street artists from all around the world to express their creativity. Last year saw a host of international graffiti stars join with the best of the local crews to create innumerable richly-hued murals; this year, Street Life is expecting even more from its participants…

Organised in collaboration with 2c Street and Zograff, the street art section of the festival will see renowned French graffiti artist The Unpredictable Zabou once more returning to the festival, along with Latvian star Kiwie, and such international names such as Arsek, Erase, Macs and Kotk – all of whom are known for their distinctive styles and eye-catching creations. And a number of local crews will also be joining in the fun: you can expect to see Edmon 1419, Opsis, Rate, Paparazzi, Angel, Rock The Dog and OLAK all breaking out their spray paints and getting busy on the walls, pavements and spaces of the streets.

With food and drink, music (“visitors can enjoy uplifting and dance beats of DJ Mike Skap, DJ Monday, the COOP Band, A tout a leme, Frapedes and others”) and an exciting programme of performances, organisers promise that this year’s Street Life Festival will be “full of both joyful and creative moments, making your day as memorable as possible”. So, come May 7, head down to Limassol for a taste of what makes this outdoor city such a vibrant place to be!

The Street Life Festival
Saturday, May 7 on Saripolou and Athenon streets, Limassol. All proceeds from the rent of the stalls go to Theotokos Foundation

About Sophia Söderholm 2588 Articles
At the age of ten Sophia moved from Sweden in 1998 and has since lived in several locations around the world including Spain, and has been residing in North Cyprus for four years now. Her educational background is in marketing, hotel management and real estate, and she now works as a real estate agent and is editor in chief for New Cyprus Magazine. If you any questions for Sophia, please write to: sophia@newcyprusmagazine.com.