Events in Handsworth Park.
Handsworth Park has played host to a number of events over the years and we are committed as a group to continue to bring exciting events to the park. From large scale live music events and flower shows to small scale community events, the park has seen a little bit of everything over the years. On this page we bring you a flavour of the events we have seen and continue to see in Handsworth Park. Some of these events are and have been organised by our group, while some are organised by other community groups and people which we are happy to support in whatever way we can for the benefit of the park.
Many of the events in the park are listed on local community page HandsworthOnline. Check in on their calendars to find out what is happening in the park and beyond. Also, look on our Facebook and Twitter pages to see what's happening soon.
Past and Recurring Events
The Handsworth Park Arts Trail
We have helped to organise two Arts Trails in the park as a friends group. The first, in 2015, produced multiple works of art on a temporary basis. Of them, the Bird Boxes and The Anchor are still located in the park but in different positions to their original locations. The second Arts Trail in 2017 produced two, permanent pieces on either side of the park.
See more on the Arts Trail page.
The Handsworth Park 10k Fun Run
Originally called the Pete Hayes Handsworth 10k Fun Run, this was set up for the first time in 2014, this fun run raises money for the British Heart Foundation in memory of a local man who died of a heart infection in 2012. Organisers include members of his family and of the Friends of Handsworth Park. The name changed in 2017
This is an annual event which takes place in mid-September. The course is three laps all within the park.
‘Handsworth Revolutions’ was devised by local artist and curator Scylla Magda as a year long program of seasonal related activities & craft workshops. These included the making of a spring egg sculpture , a summer sunflower mosaic, autumn leafcraft and winter tree dressing. In addition there were two ’all about trees’ nature walks with the rangers, a sonic mapping of the park by sound artists Bobby Bird played back on the park band stand, a bat spotting evening and a delightful lantern making and lantern parade around the lake from the Boathouse Cafe which provided well received refreshments.
See more on the Arts Trail page.
The Big Hoot - Let's Talk About Owls
Organised by the artist Scylla Magda, who created the Owl design, this event was set up to light up the Handsworth Park Owl and the Pussycat in order to show off the UV paint used in the design.
This event took place in early August 2015.
Organised by the Handsworth Park Association working with Perry Barr Arts Forum, this event was preceded by Lantern making workshops at the Sons of Rest building and at One Stop Shopping Centre in Perry Barr. After dark, people lit up the park parading with lanterns before gathering in a celebration of song and light underneath the trees. This event took place on Saturday 7th March. Read more here.
Birmingham’s biggest FREE international reggae festival started in 2010 by Perry Barr Arts Forum and The Drum in 2010.
Featuring a massive line-up of local and international artists plus food and craft stalls from around the world, dance activities, arts and education workshops, the Simmer Down Festival is a fun day out for all the family in Handsworth Park – the heart of Birmingham’s reggae past and present!
In 2012 Simmer Down grew in popularity and 6000 people came out to the Festival. In 2014 we saw over 12,000 people come to Simmer Down.
The Council of Sikh Gurdwaras in Birmingham, with their partners, organises two Nagar Kirtans (holy street processions) and a community celebration in Handsworth Park, Birmingham to celebrate this event.
Birmingham Sports and Cultural Day
Hosted from the beginning by the late Sted Wallen and the Handsworth Cavaliers Cricket Club, this annual event incorporates the Malcolm Marshall Memorial Cup cricket match.
The Handsworth Carnival grew out of the Flower Show and Carnival; Caribbean style carnivals began in Handsworth Park, in 1984, with a street procession via Hollyhead Road. In 1994 the carnival was held in Handsworth Park for the last time. The following year it was moved from the park out onto the streets of Handsworth, since which time it has been known as the Birmingham Carnival. In 1999, it was again held in a park, but this time in Perry Barr Park. Source
It returned again to Handsworth Park by popular demand in 2011 and 2013 but has not been held since due to funding changes. Hopefully it will return sooner rather than later.
The Birmingham Tattoo, Flower Show, Dog Show and Scout Jamboree
We don't have any photographs or very much information about these events being staged in Handsworth Park but we know they was hosted in the park at one time and some for a great portion of time. If you can help, please contact us on
The Second World War in particular had an effect on Birmingham parks, with the gates of Handsworth Park being removed for the war effort. Up to this time, park events had become much smaller in scale until in 1941, when the Parks Committee assisted the Lord Mayor’s War Relief Committee in arranging an innovative and adventurous six-week season of plays. These were presented by Basil Langton’s Travelling Repertory Theatre Company in the open at Cannon Hill, Aston, Handsworth and Ward End parks. These were repeated again in subsequent years, even into peace time until they faded away in the early 1950s. Source