Post Eid 2013

a5 landscapeIn August 2012 a group of us travelled to Manchester to attend the city’s annual Eid festival at the British Muslim Heritage Centre. This was a fun packed family day out that included fairground rides, stalls and live performances, an event that attracted thousands of visitors from across Manchester.  After leaving the event a few of us discussed how much we and our families enjoyed the festival, and how that inshallah (God willing) we all look forward to attending Manchester’s Eid Festival again next year.  It was this particular discussion that was the catalyst for the idea behind organising Sheffield’s Eid Festival in the Park. Instead of traveling all the way to Manchester, we could put on a similar event in Sheffield for our own families and communities.

After the successful SHF  launch and fund raiser event in December 2012 we decided that as part of our aims and objectives, we would also organise Sheffield’s very first citywide Eid festival. The aim would be to bring the communities of Sheffield together, both Muslims and non-Muslims to celebrate Eid Ul-Fitr.

In February 2012 the project was started. This was the first major event for SHF and we only had 6 months to prepare. We leveraged the skills of the team and developed a plan of execution.

We approached the City Council to arrange a suitable venue for our event. We presented our plans to which they were very supportive.  June Burke, the Community Events Co-ordinator was instrumental in deciding that Millhouses Park would be an ideal venue.

Eid Festival Aug 2013_100813_2072

As this was a new initiative, many people within the community doubted the feasibility of an event of this nature being successful in Sheffield. However, there were many people who did share our vision and were more than happy to support this initiative.

With the marketing underway and the news beginning to spread, the demand for stalls started to climb. Towards the closing date for stall applications the demand became overwhelming and we ended up with a huge waiting list. This consisted of numerous businesses and organisations, not just from the local area but also from outside the city, as far as London.

On the day of the event we experienced an unprecedented turnout of 12000, which for a first time event was truly impressive. This highlighted the level of demand for an Eid event of this nature to take place in Sheffield. It was truly by the grace of Allah that our overall vision for this event materialised into a reality; an affordable fun family day out that would cater for families of all ages, of all ethnic, cultural and social economic backgrounds.

The Sheffield Telegraph described Eid Festival in the Park as a

Religious festival that sets benchmark for peace, love and harmony across city

The Sheffield Star’s headline read;


First Eid festival brings diverse city together

In addition to this, our website received well over 3000 hits, plus, we also received pages upon pages of messages on our SHF Facebook page. Messages that captured the feelings and emotions amongst those who attended the event, something that gave us all a deep sense of intrinsic fulfilment.

Eid Festival Aug 2013_100813_2146

Comments such as:

Never been more proud to be from the Steel City. Alhamdulillah such an amaaaaazing day at the festival. Great atmosphere, really felt the spirit of Eid. Well done to all the organisers and volunteers, may Allah reward you. Aameen.

 This is just what we sheffielders needed. I was so proud taking my kids to such an event and I was so proud to show my out of Sheffield guests what Sheffield Muslims were all about. Thank you and may Allah bless you.


Can’t wait for next year’s festival

During a discussion with one of the elders who is also a successful business man from the local Muslim community, he explained how that in 40 years of living in Sheffield, this was the first time he had attended an event in the city that enabled all the Muslim communities to come together and celebrate Eid as one community.

The highlight for SHF however were the 3 shahada’s that took place at the event.  To be involved in an event that helped facilitate this was truly worth more than any form of praise we received.

We are truly thankful and recognise the amazing support we had from those who volunteeed on the day. The support of zone managers and zone volunteers was instrumental to the success.

We at SHF believe that this was an event that was always waiting for someone to make happen in Sheffield, and with the grace of Allah was destined to be a success.  We also feel that the timing of this event couldn’t have been better.  Sheffield needed this event especially after this summer’s unsuccessful EDL march in the city centre. On that day we witnessed how diversity and multiculturalism is actually working in our city. The event saw both Muslims and non-Muslims, Black, White and Asian, both working class and middle class, come out in huge numbers to protest against the EDL as a united front.

Eid Festival Aug 2013_100813_1939

The Sheffield City Council is happy for this event to take place again next year and they have offered more support in help around traffic control on the day.  We are currently in the early planning stages for next year’s event with Saturday August 2ndand Sunday August 3rd 2014 at Millhouses Park already provisionally booked for what this time will be a 2 day Eid Festival in the Park, insha Allah.

We welcome all ideas to help make next year’s Sheffield Eid Festival in the Park even better, plus anyone who is interested in becoming a volunteer on the day please get in touch our contact form.

God willing, see you next year!!