The community of Banbury Town turned up to the International Banbury event in good numbers to show unity together and to celebrate the diversity of the town.
Everyone enjoyed live music, dancing, food, art, crafts and lots of conversation.
This event proves that despite the media reports of racial disharmony after the Brexit vote, the people of Banbury still want to show love and friendship to their neighbours regardless of race, nationality or ethnicity.
Organised by Visit Banbury, Banbury Community Action Group and others, the event proved to be a great success with a large crowd turning out. There was tremendous support as shown when the entertainment developed fluidly throughout the event, with people simply turning up to help. One wonderful example of this was the young girls who turned up with their face paints to paint the faces of others free of charge.
Commenting on why the event was setup, Tim of Visit Banbury said: “When we set up Visit Banbury we were absolutely determined to promote everything that was positive and community focused about Banbury.
“We think we’ve done a reasonable job so far with lots of events, lots of social media supporting local businesses, organisations, events and people and a fair amount of community cohesion to help bring people together around the town.
“However, eighteen months ago we never dreamt that we would be needing to promote community cohesion in the way we feel we need to now.
“Recent events have meant that both anecdotally and via official reports, the UK is seeing an increase in the amount of hate, racism and xenophobia shown to people who just days ago were treated exactly like the rest of us.
“We know for many people this is not a new phenomenon as they have frequently experienced racism but for a whole group of people who have made the UK their home, all of a sudden the UK rather than being a tolerant, welcoming and open society has become at best unfriendly and at worst hostile and nasty.
“We decided to be the catalyst for a wider group of people to be able to show that they too were standing in solidarity with their neighbors regardless of race nationality or ethnicity.
“And so was born ‘Banbury International’.
“Let’s make friendship and community a stronger force than fear and hatred.”