Pictures: 8,000 people hit Caledonian Road for biggest ever Cally Festival

Maison Kelly, aged six, Nevaeh Alexander-Rodrigues, five, and Riley Harris-Hillman, three, blowing b

Maison Kelly, aged six, Nevaeh Alexander-Rodrigues, five, and Riley Harris-Hillman, three, blowing bubbles at Cally Festival 2016. Picture: Ellie Hoskins - Credit: Archant

Caledonian Road came to life yesterday for the sixth annual Cally Festival.

Revellers packed out a 200m stretch of the road as soon as the party started at midday.

With the hot weather on the organisers’ side, an estimated 8,000 people helped make it the biggest Cally Festival since it began in 2011.

The Cally is often seen as as a deprived area, high on anti-social behaviour.

But with something to entertain everyone - from boxing tryouts to live music, and dancing to street food - there was none of that negative talk yesterday.

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Lead organiser Hermela Habtegebrel said the festival, funded and supported by Cally-based businesses and organisations, is proof of a thriving community.

“This festival wouldn’t have been possible a few years back. But it shows how vibrant the Cally is.

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“Yesterday’s festival wasn’t just about one day, the whole community had been engaging with each other in the lead-up to it.

“At the same time, there are challenges. The developments around King’s Cross are pushing people out. Property prices are rising around the Cally as it is still seen as an affordable pocket in a central location. But we are pulling together and showcasing what our community is about.”

Hermela, 28, who lives in the Cally area herself, added: “It started off as a small, very local festival. Not on the scale of Notting Hill! But more and more people have been getting involved. I hope it will keep on growing. There’s no reason why not.”

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