Report on March Summer Festival 2008

We were very lucky with the weather over the weekend, we had some rain but not enough to dampen proceedings – umbrellas went up but the people stayed to enjoy the event.

Friday evening – about 300 people turned up for the Rock in the Park evening. Music provided by three different acts; soloist Rob Paling delighted the audience by performing a selection of original songs for which he also played the guitar; the Journey – a surprisingly young band from Gorefield, played a selection of music including Led Zeppelin covers; Fitzwilliam and the Spitfires, an Indie-Punk band ended the evening with a great set that left the audience wanting more.

On Saturday morning the weather was great for the Car Boot Sale and for the Gala Parade which included Pony and Traps, a vintage fire-engine, vintage bicycles, Little Molly the tractor and floats on the theme of ‘saving the planet’. The Skoulding Cup was won by Young People March who put a tremendous effort into the designing and making of a float on the theme of ‘respect and protect the ocean’ which included real fishing nets and whelk pots from Kings Lynn.

The March & Chatteris Lions Gala attracted huge crowds to the usual array of diverse stalls and included presentations of the Gala Princess and attendants followed by a display from the charming local majorette troupe ‘March Militaires’, the ‘Save the Planet’ themed Fancy Dress Competition and a demonstration of Salsa Dancing.

The performance by Lisa Dickinson’s ‘Dance Mania’ had perhaps the largest crowd of the afternoon when over 3000 people enjoyed the expertly choreographed performances by many of Lisa’s pupils. Lisa was followed by ‘Loose Baby Charlotte’, who played a great melodic/indie acoustic set and then ‘Monkey’s Uncle’ who were without their guitarist Paul Hicks, but still performed a lively set. As the day ran into the evening many of the crowds of the afternoon went home but about 1000 people stayed to hear the surf-guitar band ‘Los Kiosk Bears’, which were followed by the ever delightful ‘Totally Tracey’ and finally, ‘Krak’n’ who had the audience up and dancing to the close of the evening.

The weather was much cooler on Sunday though the sun still shone for much of the time as over 3000 people sat in groups around the park to enjoy their picnics and listen to the perfect Sunday afternoon sounds of March Brass 2000; the delightful ‘Down with the Daisies’; soulful folk singer ‘Phil Hare’, the mellow Ivan Garford Jazz Quintet and the intriguingly named ‘HTFib’. Also in the park was a colouring competition, entertaining performances of ‘George and the Dragon’ by Perrott’s Puppet Players and enthralling storytelling by Alan Woollard. The evening was completed by the rousing sounds of the Alan Norris Big Band.

The ‘George and the Dragon’ colouring competition proved to be a great success and prizes (courtesy of the Cambs Times) were awarded as follows_
Under 7s 1st prize - Jasmine Cox 2nd prize – Laura Spiers
7-11 years 1st prize – Megan Fitzsimmons 2nd prize – Callum Watson

The prize draw attracted hundreds of entries and the following prizes were given
Sunday Lunch for 2 at The George - Tom Harlock –
Meal for 2 at The Stars - Denise Cresdee
Meal for 2 at The Acre  - Diane Crabb
7 day Fenland Leisure Centre pass – Gary Wing
Meat voucher from March Quality Meats – Mick Darwood
Other prizes were also presented, and thanks must be expressed to Des Pritchard for collecting all of these.

John Whitehead and Doug Westbrook were MC’s for the weekend and they did a marvellous job of helping the stage events run seamlessly!

Marcus Philips, Chairman of the Festival Committee said after the event “it has been a great weekend, for which grateful thanks must go to all the helpers, sponsors, stewards, charity stall holders and especially to all who came along to the park for the festival come rain or shine!”