Lanterns, hula hoops and… poi?

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Plenty is happening on the first day of this year’s Summer of Smiles festival outside City Hall, in Cardiff.

What’s on offer?

I had a long walk around the festival and saw some cool attractions, including alpacas! I stopped and caught up with one of the many arts and crafts stalls here.

Citrus Arts will be at the festival for the duration and they’ll be offering the chance to make lots of exciting things including lanterns, hula hoops and something I was intrigued by… poi?

What is poi?

Catrin, who is running the stall, told us a Poi is a “circus instrument” that is simply “two strings that you swing around with balls on the end of those strings.” It all seems simple when she explains it like that, but it still looked complex from where I was standing!

Catrin continued to explain that a poi “can be on fire” so they are not for the faint of heart. But parents needn’t worry; there won’t be any sort of fire throwing on offer, for now, at least.

The Sprout’s stall at the festival is also offering Arts and Crafts opportunities, where you can have your art featured in our big tent, right at the front of the festival for all to see! We are also offering fun and games, with child-friendly darts and a chance to beat the high score on our mini shooting range. It feels like I am the target, as Soli shoots a high score of 1400!

Getting stuck in!

Back with Citrus Arts, Mia told us she “likes plaiting” things, and that’s why she decided to have a go at making a poi. She had only been at the festival for 20 minutes and she was already getting stuck in!

Her response to the entire festival was that she was enjoying it, and there was much more to see and do before the day ended. It was wonderful to see so many young people and children enjoying the first day of the festival!

One of Mia’s favourite hobbies is sewing, so the Citrus Arts tent really does have something for everyone to have a go at!

Eventually, I decided to leave the task to Mia because it looked far beyond my artistic ability.

If you’re at the Summer of Smiles festival, be sure to visit the Citrus Arts team over in the shade, away from the sun. Just remember your suncream and your hat, because, as Mia said, “it is quite hot though!”

Mia making poi at Summer of Smiles

Related information

If you’d like to find out more about the Summer of Smiles, how you can get involved, and where to get tickets, click here.

Check out some of the other awesome activities at the festival, including Extreme Bike Battle!

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