On Thursday night, before the second of the Saltaire Festival weekends, Exhibition Road was closed to allow the vendors time to set up their stalls for the Continental Market. In past years, many of the stallholders used to come from Europe (or at least have their roots there) but with Brexit and the pandemic, I'm not sure that is the case this year, though the food still has a European vibe. The pitches sell a bewildering array of street food, plus sweets, cheese, meat, bread and baked goods, as well as gifts and clothing. Whatever you want to eat, it is probably on sale here!
When I went past, there was a loud hum of generators and lots of activity as white vans were unpacked, stalls and street kitchens laid out. These will stay right through until Sunday night, three full days of trading. At night there are security guards keeping watch to make sure no-one runs off with the goods.
I always feel a bit sorry for the people living in the adjacent streets, as the noise of the generators must get a bit wearing, not to mention the closed roads, the hot food smells and the crush and noise of people. I imagine some resort to going away for a few days. If I lived much nearer, I probably would! But still, it is good to see people enjoying themselves and our village. It all helps to 'put us on the map'.