From a flashmob by Roc Vannin to Chinese dragon dancers, Cafe Lingo’s SpringFest had something for everyone.
Now in its third year, Cafe Lingo offers free English language classes to non-native speakers, encouraging socialisation and providing information about the Manx way of life.
It has gone from strength to strength since being launched and has already held several hugely popular events at its headquarters at Promenade Methodist Church in Douglas.
The top hall at the venue was packed to the rafters for the SpringFest, which saw entertainment being provided by people from all over the world.
Manx musical acts such as folk bands Scran and Perree Bane plus the aforementioned Roc Vannin all proved big hits, as did Dave McLean from Peel Centenary Centre who sang alongside his grandson Jack.
The strong international flavour to the event came in the form of various different acts, from the Rhythm of Bulgaria dance troupe to Chinese Dragon dancers, from fortune cookie telliers to electric flute and much more.
There was also face painting on offer for the many younger members of the audience, while a raffle raised £360 which will be equally split between Cafe Lingo and local homelessness charity Graih.
Cafe Lingo founder and festival organiser Karen Norton was delighted with how the festival went, saying: ’The event exceeded our expectations. It was nice to see so many people there – it was good for groups from the community to get together and have enjoy a big celebration at Cafe Lingo.
’We had a whole range of different types of music and entertainment going on throughout the event – we had local young folk group Scran who were so talented. It’s great to see young people who are preserving our heritage and also enriching it which is so important.
’Dave McClean of Peel Centenary Centre played boogie on the piano, we had the Bulgarian dancers who were beautiful and very talented, while Perree Bane delivered a local style of dancing which was wonderful to see and listen to.
’People weren’t expecting to see Roc Vannin – only three people knew – so when they showed up they performed two Beatles numbers and really surprised everyone with their flash mob. It gave people a chance to join in.
’The idea of SpringFest came about from one of our students, Immi Anna. When she first came to the island about 18 months ago she came to Cafe Lingo as a student but since then she has set up her own company, Busy Bee Italian Language School.
’She wanted to give something back to Cafe Lingo so she suggested we do a spring event on the theme of carnivals – she’s from Italy where they celebrate Mardi Gras carnival style.
’So we put a Manx interpretation on carnivals whilst wanting to express spring festivals and culture from around the world. The whole event came together in such a short amount of time and people responded so well to it.
’I’d like to thank all of our regular volunteers for all their hard work, Laura and Anna for doing the face-painting with the children, and Brenda for her floral work plus everyone who brought along delicious food to share.
’Thanks also to everyone who donated prizes for the raffle, particularly the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, Ellan Vannin Fuels, Shoprite, Tesco and the Busy Bee Italian Language School.’
For more information on CafÃ© Lingo or the Christmas event, contact Karen on 458340 or follow CafÃ© Lingo (Isle of Man) on Facebook.
Classes take place at the church from 10.15am to 11.45am on Saturdays.
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