Soho Village Fete & Waiters Race
This summer The Soho Society will present the 42nd annual Soho Summer Fête held in St Anne’s Gardens, Dean Street, W1. In 2014 The Society revived an old Soho summer tradition – the Waiters Race and this very popular event will make an appearance once again this year.
Created in the 1970s when Soho was under threat from property developers and big business, the summer fête was devised as a celebration of the community that was the overlooked heart of an area cast as a louche, commercial, playground. The Waiters Race was a funny and creative way to acknowledge Soho as the London home of so much good food in the middle of a neighbourhood party and for one afternoon a year brought the streets to a standstill as the staff of various restaurants and cafes competed for the coveted ‘Soho Waiters Cup’.
The event kicks off at 1200 and runs until 1800. Last year there was incredible live music from The Royal Organ Duo, Fabulous Lounge Swingers, Hoochie Toots, Anke Landeau singing Marlene Dietrich, a hula hoop troupe, Sunny the male belly dancer, a ukulele Orchestra and the indomitable Ruby Venezuela and friends. There was good food and drink, crafts, vintage clothing and records to buy from a wide variety of stalls.
We also hold an annual spaghetti eating and alpine horn blowing competition alongside the traditional tug of war, coconut shy, human fruit machine, fortune tellers and snail racing on the hour!
The new Waiters Race starts at 3.30pm outside legendary Soho pub The French House, running north and turning into Soho Square, down Greek Street and back along Old Compton Street to finish at Gerry’s Wines & Spirits. Staff from many of Soho’s leading gourmet hostelries will be competing to win free meals at great restaurants whilst raising funds for a new charity - The Waiters Benevolent Fund.
The fine dining industry is driven by diligent staff who can sometimes ill afford to live in the expensive enclaves where they work and can often find themselves financially vulnerable. The Waiters Benevolent Fund aims to establish a local ‘safety blanket’ for such hardworking members of the community.
The Soho Society, extends a warm welcome to all, so come along and help raise money for a good cause whilst having a wonderful summer day out in Soho!
The 42nd Soho Village Fête, Sunday 17th July 2016, 12 noon to 6pm
Soho Waiters Race starts at 3.30pm
St Anne’s Gardens, Wardour Street, Soho W1
- All competitors in The Soho Society Waiters Race pay a registration fee of £20 each towards administration costs and The Waiters Benevolent Fund
- Each competitor carries a tray, napkin, half bottle of champagne and champagne glass
- Tray must be held in one hand – two hands only used to steady items on tray for no more than three paces
- Winner is first past winning line with all items on tray intact
Further details about waiters race registration, donating a raffle prize or hiring a stall available from Clare Lynch, Soho Society Administrator, 020 7439 4303 or firstname.lastname@example.org