EUROFEST OCTOBER 2012
A delegation of 30 people from Leek travelled to Este for their annual Eurofest 4 to 8 October. Leek Town Mayor Pam Wood attended with her husband along with members of Leek Twinning Committee, students and teachers form Leek College of Art and other citizens.
Eurofest this year was dedicated to celebrating the 10 th anniversary of twinning between Leek and Este. The Mayor of Este, Giancarlo Piva, warmly welcomed the Leek visitors and thanked them for their committed involvement in exchanges between the two towns over the last decade. In addition to the Leek delegation, over 100 people from abroad attended this year's event including citizens and youngsters from Este's other twin towns in Germany , France , Hungary and Croatia . The weather for the whole weekend was superb with temperatures reaching 25 degC.
Friday lunchtime saw the opening of the 10 th anniversary exhibition in the Town Hall with panels of photos depicting twinning events over the last ten years including the original signing between Leek and Este in 2002. Many thanks go to Leek Photographic Club for their efforts in mounting the exhibition which was open all weekend to the public. Later that evening the grand opening of the Ceramic and Art Exhibition in the Pescheria was held with stunning and well appreciated contributions from students from Leek College of Art and Keith Harrison, also from Leek. Croatia supplied live art in the form of their dancers in traditional costume seen in their annual Carnevale. The exhibition was open to the public until Sunday evening.
A conference on the “Economic Crisis and the value of a United Europe” was held on Saturday morning with a guest speaker from Verona . Testing questions on the contribution of twinning to helping cultural understanding between EU member states were raised and discussed in a forum including Este students and representatives from each visiting delegation.
Throughout the weekend live music was performed in the various squares in the centre of Este and a number of classical concerts were held in churches within the town. In addition a large marquee was used to serve food from many nations from Friday through to Sunday.
Helen Ratcliffe , Chair of Leek Twinning Committee, said “Following a superb exchange in May when Este visited Leek to start the 10 year celebrations between our two towns, Este has continued this in style at Eurofest, making 2012 a very memorable year for us all. Este's other twin towns were all represented this year which gave a truly international feel to the weekend. Our collaboration with Este has gone from strength to strength as seen by all the exchanges which have taken place and the number of people and groups involved”.
Pam Wood, Mayor of Leek, addressed the official opening of Eurofest and said “ There are many reasons why twinning is such an important venture but I believe that the overriding one is the building of friendships between the ordinary people of different countries and over the last ten years we can certainly claim to have achieved that.”
Este will be hosting guests from Leek for their Remembrance Service weekend from 1 – 6 November. Approximately 8 people from Leek have already booked to go and anybody else who is interested in taking part should contact Anthony Mathewson , Leek Twinning Committee Secretary, on 01538 387032 , for more information. Going on a pre-organized event is a great way to experience Este for the first time. Staying in a host family can be arranged and the programme this year involves a boat trip around Chioggia (known as Little Venice).