Adnan Albayrak took to the stage, performing traditional Turkish songs as the festival programme moved into its closing stages last night. Picture by Steve Parsley.

A new date and a torrential downpour on Saturday weren’t enough to spoil Kayakõy’s Festival with big crowds enjoying the stalls and musical performances over the weekend.

The first significant storm of the autumn arrived just in time for the opening, the deluge flooding fields which had been set aside as an arts and crafts area and for a series of concerts.

The resulting quagmire was enough to prompt organisers to announce concerts scheduled for Saturday would have to be cancelled – but that was before willing helpers moved the stage to firmer ground on the road adjacent to the Kayaköy mosque, already closed to traffic.

As the skies cleared on Saturday, stalls began to fill up – and so did the streets . Picture by Steve Parsley.

Dancing under the moon

By late afternoon, performers were able to take to the stage after all and, by late evening, visitors were dancing under the moon to live shows including traditional Turkish music and song.

Sunday also dawned warm and dry and, as the number of stalls lining the streets doubled, so did visitors numbers with roads in an out of the village struggling to cope at times with the sheer volume of traffic.

The programme – dubbed a Festival of Peace and Friendship this year – included a number of elements to celebrate the village’s links to Greece.

A delegation representing the communities formed a century ago by those displaced from Kayaköy during the population exchange at the end of the Greco Turk War visited on Sunday and there were demonstrations of Greek folk dancing – joined by local troupe from Turkey.

There was plenty for the whole family, from these colourful characters to arts and crafts that would make eye-catching statement pieces in any home. Picture by Steve Parsley.
There are clearly some extremely talented artists living in and around Kayakõy. Picture by Steve Parsley.
Handmade leather goods are available from the tiny boutiques in Kayakõy all year – but the festival is a fantastic opportunity to show off local craftsmanship. Picture by Steve Parsley.
Many a quirky and unique piece of artwork will have found a way into homes around Fethiye and further afield after this weekend’s festival. Picture by Steve Parsley.

Talent on show

The festival also allowed artists and craftspeople from across the area to show off their talent and to sell some of their work to the crowds, the village remaining busy right up to the closing concert by Grup Gündoğarken.

The festival is still establishing itself on the regional calendar and has been held in spring and summer so far.

However, elections earlier this year made an spring date for 2019 harder to select so, instead, the programme was promoted as a way to celebrate the end of the summer and to end the season with a bang.

Whether the move has been deemed enough of a success to be repeated in 2020 has yet to be confirmed.

Kayakoy’s ostriches had plenty of admirers this weekend. Picture by Steve Parsley.

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