Hula-hoopers set to take over Newport city centre

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FESTIVAL organisers are hoping for a whirl wind success this Saturday, as they prepare for a mass hula-hooping flash mob.

As part of The Big Splash 2014, residents are invited to head down to the wave this Saturday at 4.30pm for plenty of high-energy, hip-swinging action.

Paul Chambers, from the Riverfront theatres, said: “The idea is to get as many people involved as possible.

“It’s nice to have that big community event that you can tie into a festival. It’s finding something that’s accessible and will look good. I think it’s going to look amazing.”

Yesterday, dancers from a Newport musical theatre and cheerleading academy, Defying Gravity, were busy practising ahead of the weekend. The group, which had a workshop with a professional hula hooper last week, will also be helping with recruiting others and leading the flash mob.

All ages will be welcome to join in and Mr Chambers said: “There’s so much professional street art, so it’s great to have this element to get kids involved.”

If you haven’t got a hula hoop, you can join one of the free hula-hoop making and decorating workshops this half term. The one-hour workshops are being held at the Project Space on Commercial Street on Thursday and Saturday.

The hula hooping will be filmed to form part of the festival’s music video for their own version of Pharrell Williams’ Happy.

Although it was initially planned as an attempt to break a world record for the most people hula hooping at one time, organisers now admit this was a little ambitious, as it’s quite a record to beat. In February 2013, 4,483 people twirled into the world record books by hula hooping at the same time at a Bangkok university.

The festival kicks off this Friday at the Riverfront and lasts until Sunday, with entertainment all across the city, as well as Danters fairground on the Big Splash site between The Riverfront and the university buildings.

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