Here are a collection of reports from previous years festivals.

Report on March Summer Festival 2016

Plenty to do on a wet weekend!

Another changeable weekend did not stop the people of March from coming out of their homes to celebrate the seventeenth March Summer Festival.

Throughout the weekend of 10 -12 June thousands of people gathered along the High Street and Broad Street for the Gala Parade with Classic Vehicles, floats and walkers; in West End Park to enjoy a wide selection of music and dance and a varied selection of stalls and amusements in the Lions Gala and enjoyed family oriented activities at the Picnic in the Park.

The weekend survived the absence of Maureen James, the event manager, who fell off her bike and broke her wrist on Friday afternoon and Stuart Broad, her husband and festival stage manager, who left the park to keep her company in Peterborough General Hospital. Stephanie Hare, assistant event manager ably stepped in to keep control of the festival and Rodney Crabb took over back stage. The March Summer Festival Committee are grateful to everyone - the stewards, stage crew and other helpers who called on their years of experience to enable the event to run smoothly.

The festival kicked off with 'Rock in the Park', and the bizarre sounds of Poncho Pilots; the punk vibes of Damaged; melodic hardcore of That Night Forests Grew and finally the crowd pleasing rock-reggae band Tree House Fire. The whole evening was MC’d by Adam 'Hampy' Hamilton with lighting for the weekend provided by Jonathan Darwood of JD Technical and sound by the crew from K-Tech Music Services.

Thousands of people lined the streets on Saturday to watch the parade, once again led by Vivien the Fire Engine followed by about 100 vintage cars and motorbikes (organised by Ray Howes); the Gala Princess Hollie Cawthorne  in a horse-drawn carriage provided by George Sharman; the Mayor Andrew Donnelly in a Triumph Stag driven by Mark Vawser; and a number of local groups, some dressed for the theme of Top of the Pops, walking behind.

Back in West End Park, the Gala was officially opened by the March Lions President, Ian Groome, along with the Mayor and Bernard and Sylvia Keane who both served as Summer Festival committee members since its foundation. The presentation of the trophies to the winners in the Parade by John Elworthy of the Cambs Times then took place. The winners were Fossils Galore (Mallett Trophy for Best in Parade) and Dance Mania (Skoulding Trophy for Best Group). Bruce Smith then presented trophies for the best vehicle in the Classic Car Parade to Roger Newark of Doddington for his Ford Van ‘with cakes’ and the best car in the Classic Car Parade to Peter Keatley of Whittlesey for his 1947 Rover 10.

The Fancy Dress competition judged by Johnny Dee of BBC Radio Cambridgeshire
then took place, with prizes for both winners and runners-up, donated by Boyes and The Toy Box awarded to Leah Barnes as Madonna; Holly Andrews as Amy Winehouse; Kirsty as Man/Woman; Sharon Shepherd as Ginger Spice and Colin Andrews as Alice Cooper. Leah also received the Patsy Brewin Cup for her efforts.

After the presentations the enormous crowd were entertained in turn by Lisa Dickinson’s Dance Mania, The Casey Academy Of Irish Dancing and Neale Wade BTEC Students.
Those that were not gathered in front of the outdoor stage took the opportunity to wander around the many gala stalls, view the lovingly preserved classic cars at the far end of the park, or enjoy the fairground rides.

When the gala wound to a close, well over a thousand people stayed for Pop in the Park with performances by folk rock group Something Nasty in the Woodshed; local favourites The Supergroup (a combination of Mind the Gap and Whiskey Twist), and the acclaimed 1960s tribute band The 6Ts.

The park was once again the venue for 'Picnic in the Park' on Sunday and for the fun dog show organised by Samantha Laws of Doggy Styling. More than 120 ‘pampered pooches’ took part in the show which included 14 categories. Best in show was awarded to Lucy Smith and her three rescue dogs Shepp, Maisy and Honey who also came first in the happy family class.
Over by the bandstand families were being kept busy with face painting by Hayley Dolbear; circus skills with Adrian Ley; nature activities with the Friends of Rings End Nature Reserve; vegetable themed activities and a show by Madame Zucchini (aka Natalie Hunt) and the popular colouring competition with Penny Hicks.

The entries for the colouring competition were judged by Madame Zucchini and prizes (donated by Greetings and Boyes), were awarded to Biadrix and Lily Hankey-Scott (Under 8 category); Abbie O’Mahoney and Rowan Ley (8 – 11 year old) and Amber Freshwater and Zac Lilley (12 and over). Special commendation prizes, donated by Penny Hicks were also awarded to Reece Simpson, Rebekah Satish, Hannah Riches and James...

Throughout Sunday afternoon, the weather was changeable but it did not dampen the spirits of the few hundred people watching the on-stage entertainment by the talented Fenland Youth Swing Band; popular local duo Back Two; award-winning MADAOS; the mellow sounds of Ivan Garford & Jazz Odyssey and lively covers band Catch 22. The sky remained cloudy but a couple of hundred people braved the weather for the rousing finale concert by Alan Norris Big Band.

During the evening the winners of the 30 amazing prizes of the Grand Draw were selected.

Winners were as follows:

  •     Robert Bulpin (A day out in a Narrow Boat for 10 people from Fox Narrowboats);
  •     Kevin Sparrow  (An acrylic 3D deer head from 3B Design and Print);
  •     Trevor Quince (£50 Holiday voucher for Holiday with Us);
  •     Bob Cave (£50 voucher for Wrights Tools);
  •     Andre Whitby (£30 voucher for Once upon a Cake);
  •     G Knight (£25 voucher for March Quality Meats);
  •     M Larham (£20 voucher for Harmony Hair Studio);
  •     Janet Darwood (£20 voucher for Stardust);
  •     Liesa Cox (£20 voucher for The Spicebank);
  •     P Roberts (Sunday lunch for 2 at Pete’s Restaurant - the Oliver Cromwell Hotel);
  •     Martin Calvert (Sunday lunch for 2 at Cassano’s);
  •     Murton (lunch for 2 at Ye Olde Griffin Hotel);
  •     Kevin Sparrow (fish supper for 2 at Stotts Fish Restaurant);
  •     C Shields (fish supper for 2 at Snappers Fish Restaurant);
  •     Louise Sutton-Webb (lunch for 2 at The Hippodrome);
  •     Michele Hadfield (meal for 2);
  •     Susanne Vawser (5 coffees at Costa Coffee);
  •     Becky Smith (2 gym memberships from the Oliver Cromwell Hotel);
  •     Ritha Nimalan, Martin Calvert, Julia Parker, Jo O’Neill (gym memberships for the George Campbell Leisure Centre);
  •     Grace Bridgement (2 large pizzas from Domino’s);
  •     Jane Barry (a 2 bike cycle carrier from UK Towbars Ltd);
  •     Bob Cave (£10 voucher from Outer Rim Toys & Models);
  •     Martin Talmage (£7.50 voucher from Coldham Fruit;
  •     Ann Cross (£5 voucher from Fossils Galore);
  •     P Roberts, John Whitehead, Shaun Cross (Family swim vouchers for the George Campbell Leisure Centre).

The March Summer Festival Committee would also like to thank Gary Tustin (the MC); the stallholders; the parade participants; the numerous volunteers who helped run the event and local businesses who gave help, prizes and sponsorship. They would also like to say that help and ideas are always welcome for future festivals and if you would like to do so, please get in touch via Clive Lemmon at the Town Hall on March 653709.

The March Summer Festival is non-profit making and is made possible by grants from March Town Council, Fenland District Council and PRS for Music along with sponsorship from Smurfit Kappa and Whiting & Partners, advertising revenue, and donations made during the weekend.
A large selection of festival photographs, taken by Al of March Camera Club, our resident photographer and Anthony Hylton and Helen Spall of Aitch Photography have been posted on the website

Report on March Summer Festival 2014

It rained on our Parade!

Despite the downpour that meant that there was a much smaller than usual crowd watching the parade, the fifteenth March Summer Festival Weekend, turned out to be as amazing as ever

Once again thousands of people flocked to West End Park to enjoy the great variety of music; the Classic Vehicle and Gala Parades through the town; the variety of stalls and amusements in the Lions Gala and a host of activities during the Picnic in the Park.

On Friday about three hundred people gathered to enjoy the diverse line-up of 'Rock in the Park' which this year was coordinated by Chris Revett of Camblast, with sponsorship from WMS Music. With music from 'Damaged', Kamikaze Hotshot, Death Radio, Vendetta and Dirty Kirst their mix of hardcore punk and rock interspersed with acoustic songs from local singer-songwriter Rob Paling, could best be described as not for the 'faint-hearted.'

Chris explained how Rob Paling used to be a regular performer at the festival from 2004 until 2008 when he moved away to Cambridge,”Having Rob back was really awesome. Everyone was behind him”.

Rain didn't stop the festivities on Saturday morning as the park filled up for the Lions Gala but by the time the vintage vehicles and local groups gathered in City Road Lorry Park for the parades the rain was torrential.

Despite the rain a large of number of vehicles took part in the first March Vintage Vehicle parade. Ray Howes, parade organiser commented “given the weather, the parade was fantastic. I am really impressed at the number of people who brought out their valuable vintage cars even though it was raining. One small Austin Seven came over from Haverhill in Suffolk.”

The main Gala Parade, organised by Rob Skoulding, led by Sambanda followed by the Gala Princess Nina Bridger (age 11) and her attendant, Lila Mai Mottram (age 9) (sponsored by March Lions and the Fenland Citizen), and the Mayor of March Cllr. Kit Owen. The colourful parade, though much depleted due to the weather conditions also included a number of other local groups, businesses and individuals.

When the crowds returned to West End Park, the Gala was officially opened by the March Lions President Elect, Yvonne Eatock, along with Kit Owen and Patsy Brewin. They were followed by the presentation of the trophies to the Winners in the Parade: Dance Mania members as 'Grease' (Mallett Trophy for Best in Parade) and the 4th March Brownies and Rainbows (Skoulding Trophy for Best Individuals). Sadly the latter was not in attendance and so their trophy will be handed to them by Rob Skoulding later this week.

The Fancy Dress competition then took place, judged by Mr & Mrs John Whitehead and Patsy Brewin. Prizes for both winners and runners-up, donated by Boyes and The Toy Box were awarded to Lola Dickinson as a Pink Lady from Grease; Toni Arnold as a Fantasy Queen and Lauren Pailing as Tron. A special prize for effort was also given to Sharon Shepherd.

The weather brightened up as the afternoon progressed as a slightly smaller than usual, but still large audience watched the delightful dancing of Lisa Dickinson’s Dance Mania and Sarah's Street Style Dance, interspersed with a performance by the mellow sounds of Tom Harlock and Aimee Peart-Webb. The afternoon ended with bluesy sounds of the talented young singer guitarist Misty Jones.
Whilst many people enjoyed the entertainments on the stage, others wandered around the numerous gala stalls and attractions or took the opportunity to view the classic vehicles on display at the far end of the park!

The winners of the Classic Car Parade, namely John Ridley for his Riley 472 and Chris Wayman for his 1959 Mark 1 Scootarcar. were also presented with trophies by Bruce Smith during the afternoon.

As afternoon turned into evening the sun was shining brightly as the gala came to a close and Pop in the Park, sponsored by Pilgrim’s of March began. Now it was time to enjoy the varied set of skilful local group Radiowave, followed by the ever popular March band Wild Honey and the classic rock band Soulweaver.

The evening was rounded off by a Las Vegas style concert by Benwick based Elvis Tribute act Gary Jay supported by The Wonder of Elvis Band. Gary not only looked like 'The King' but also invited some of the female members of the audience up onto the stage.

The Sunday afternoon sunshine enabled hundreds of people to enjoy a wonderful 'Picnic in the Park' with music provided by the Fenland Youth Swing Band, The Rob James Band and The Rusty Relics and members of March and District Amateur Operatic Society.

For the children there were varied activities including the ever popular Circus Skills Workshop with Adrian Ley, Storytelling by Peter Optical and the colouring competition organised by Penny Hicks. Prizes for the competition, donated by Greetings and Boyes, were awarded to Jenson High and James Venni (Under 5 category); Isabel Dickinson Lennon......and Molly...... (5 – 7 year old); Deanna Rayner and Nina Cottam (8 – 11 year old) and Hanna Whinnett and Alice Sobeleus (12 and over). The afternoon was enhanced by face painting provided by Hayley Dolbear.

As the afternoon drifted into evening, the weather remained sunny, but it did not put off the many people who stayed in the park to enjoy a rousing performance by the Alan Norris Big Band.

The weekend prompted many favourable comments including Margaret Oatey MBE’s observation that “we had friends down from Halifax. They have a party in their park but it has nothing like the atmosphere of the one we have here in March.”

During the evening the Grand Draw with 22 great prizes took place. Winners were as follows: S Emerson (£300 wallpaper design from 3B Design and Print); A Clarke (studio portrait sitting and print from Charles David Photography; Vicky & Dick (£50 Holiday voucher from Holiday with Us); Alice Darwood (12 week gym membership from the Oliver Cromwell Hotel); Patsy Brewin (Sunday lunch for 2 at the Oliver Cromwell Hotel); M Hughes (a cycle carrier from UK Towbars Ltd); W Ringham (8 week gym membership George Campbell Leisure Centre); Faye Heading (£30 saving stamps from Iceland); Diane Crabb (tea for 2 at the Royal Exchange Tea Parlour); Mrs Page ( meal for 2 at the Olde Griffin Hotel); Augustine Vandervel (fish supper for 2 at Stotts Fish Restaurant); Hilary Dickinson (carvery for 2 at Cassanno’s); M Thomas (£20 voucher for Stardust); Lorraine Woodjetts (£20 voucher from The Spicebank); Murton (2 main meals at Shah Jahan); Lisa Thomas (2 main meals at The Hippodrome); Val Hodges (2 main meals at Cobblestones); Lola Fuller (2 desserts at Cobblestones); Ralph Crabb (a large pizza from Domino’s); Steve Bailey (hair products from Phoenix Hair & Beauty); Sadie Mann (meal for 2 at The Acre); Nicola Hennells (breakfast for 2 at The Ship).

Winners who did not collect their prizes will be contacted during the week.

The March Summer Festival Committee would also like to thank John Whitehead (the MC); the stallholders; the parade participants; the numerous volunteers who helped run the event and local businesses who have given help, prizes and sponsorship. They would also like to say that help and ideas are always welcome for future festivals and if you would like to do so, please get in touch via Clive Lemmon at the Town Hall on March 653709.

The March Summer Festival is non-profit making and is made possible by grants from March Town Council, Fenland District Council and PRS for Music along with advertising revenue, sponsorship and donations made during the weekend.

There is also a gallery of photographs of the event, courtesy of Charles David Photography Ltd.

Report on March Summer Festival 2015

Plenty to do on a wet weekend!

Once again wet weather refused to dampen the spirits of the people of March as they celebrated their sixteenth March Summer Festival Weekend, with a weekend of music and merriment.

Throughout the weekend hundreds of people flocked to West End Park to enjoy the great variety of music; the Gala Parade comprising walkers, Classic Vehicles and floats; the varied stalls and amusements in the Lions Gala and a the numerous activities of the Picnic in the Park.

The weekend began with 'Rock in the Park', the start of which was delayed due to problems with the electric supply to the stage which were solved by the arrival of a generator. Eventually the thumping 'deathcore' tones of Dispossession, followed by the old school Kaine, the uniquely funky sound of Stringfinger and finally the heavy ethereal performance by Exist Immortal filled the stage which was beautifully illuminated by our new lighting man Jonathan Darwood of JD Technical.

The rain started to fall as the evening drew to a close and continued through the night and into Saturday. However it didn't stop thousands of people from lining the streets to watch the parade led by Vivien the Fire Engine (in a tribute to the late Patsy Brewin), followed by the Classic Vehicles and the Gala Princess Lilia-Joy Rust (age 8) and her attendant Amy-Rose Moore (age 10), in a horse-drawn carriage. Next in line were the March Bears Rugby Bears float, along with many local groups.

Marie Rayner, one of the Parade Organisers noted; “There must have been at least 500 people participating in the parade including walkers and 3 floats, with at least 50 cars too oh and a horse and cart!! There were hundreds of people lining the streets and people watching out of the windows on upper floors, the older generation came out of the their care homes which was lovely to see...The best thing about the parade was the look on people faces, there wasn't a sad face either within the parade or people watching.

When the crowds finally arrived in West End Park, the Gala was officially opened by the March Lions President, Ruth Martin, along with Mayor Rob Skoulding, Barry Howlett of the March Branch of the Royal British Legion and Summer Festival Chairman Marcus Phillips. They were followed by the presentation of the trophies to the winners in the Parade by Colin Bedford: March Brownies/Rainbow (Mallett Trophy for Best in Parade) and the Doddington Hospital Nurses (Skoulding Trophy for Best Group). Bruce Smith then presented trophies for the best vehicle in the Classic Car Parade to Yvonne King for her Austin 7 named Ethel and the best car in the Classic Car Parade to Colin Arnold for his Hillman Minx.

The March Chamber of Commerce Cup for the Best Window Display was then presented by their Chairman Debbie Buck to Harrison Murray Estate Agents and Nottingham Building Society. Joint runners-up in the competition were Bizzy Bee Florist and Stardust.

The Fancy Dress competition, also judged by Debbie, along with Michelle Pegg, then took place, with prizes for both winners and runners-up, donated by Boyes and The Toy Box awarded to Lexi Bradshaw as Princess Jasmine; Riley Woodman as a Pirate; Hollie Andrews as Queen Elizabeth I, Sharon Shepherd as Britannia; Colin Andrews as Henry VIII. Hollie also received the Patsy Brewin Cup for her efforts.

Once the presentations were finished, the huge crowd were delighted by Lisa Dickinson’s Dance Mania which included energetic routines set to many popular songs by over 100 dancers. They were followed by young local popular band Frivolity and the mellow songs of Lee Enstone.

Whilst the dancing took place on the outdoor stage, many people were also wandering around the gala stalls or enjoying the fairground rides. Others spent time viewing the diverse range of classic vehicles and the Rugby Bears demonstration at the far end of the park!

As the afternoon became evening the stall holders and the cars left the park and Pop in the Park began with ska band Scooted n Booted; the unconventional John Preston Tribute Band and the massively popular Whiskey Twist, led by accomplished guitarist Tom Harlock.

The weather remained cloudy as Peterborough based David Bowie tribute performer Aladdinsane took the stage for an electrifying performance of Bowie's most memorable hits.

Once again on Sunday, the final day of the festival, the sun still barely broke through the clouds yet hundreds for people turned out for the 'Picnic in the Park' and for the fun dog show.

A dog show was once a common feature of the Lions Gala, but it disappeared before the March Summer Festival came into existence. This year, its revival proved to be a 'hit' and literally hundreds of dogs took part in the show, competing in categories such as 'Most Appealing Eyes' and 'Waggiest Tale.' Marie Rayner, whose dog was one of the entrants said:

"Sam Laws of Doggy Styling Grooming did a marvellous job in organising the show. It was great to see hundreds of happy dogs in the park."

Whilst the dogs were having fun at the end of the park, near the bandstand, behind the sound-line, a number of activities were taking place including the World War Two display by March Museum and the March History Group, face painting and the ever popular colouring competition, the latter organised by Penny Hicks and judged by Keith and Karen Cheale.

Later in the afternoon prizes (donated by Greetings and Boyes), were awarded for the colouring competition to Molly and Hollie (Under 8 category); Ruby and Joseph (8 – 11 year old) and Amber and Kamile (12 and over). An additional prize was also presented to Damian for special effort.

Sadly the temperature dropped during the afternoon, and those who were watching the stage performances from Chatteris Town Band, MADAOS, Ivan Garford's Hell Fire Club and Cat in the Mangle, began to feel rather chilly. A number of people went home, some to return with blankets and hot drinks, others to be replaced by those in warm coats ready to enjoy the evening concert.

The sun did try to appear but was not strong enough to push its way through the clouds as evening arrived. By the time the Fenland Youth Swing Band started their set the temperature had risen slightly and a couple of hundred people were more able to enjoy the rousing performance by the 20 young singers and musicians.

Clive Lemmon, Town Clerk and Treasurer for the March Summer Festival said "considering the weather it was a remarkable weekend, relatively trouble-free and enjoyed by everyone I have spoken to."

During the evening the Grand Draw with 17 great prizes took place. Winners were as follows:

  •     Jayne Manders (A day out in a Narrow Boat for 10 people from Fox Narrowboats);
  •     Macy Dear (A Lifesize cardboard cut-out of a figure of your choice from 3B Design and Print);
  •     Kaenamae Sharman (studio portrait sitting and print from Charles David Photography);
  •     Mattie Fuller (10 month gym membership from the Oliver Cromwell Hotel);
  •     Nosworthy (£50 Holiday voucher from Holiday with Us);
  •     David Wardy (Sunday lunch for 2 at the Oliver Cromwell Hotel);
  •     Catherine Pearson (a cycle carrier from UK Towbars Ltd);
  •     Andrew of the Burger Van (3 month gym membership George Campbell Leisure Centre);
  •     Stella Snow (£30 saving stamps from Iceland); D White (meal for 2 at the Olde Griffin Hotel);
  •     Sharon Shepherd (fish supper for 2 at Stotts Fish Restaurant);
  •     Alfie Sharman (carvery for 2 at Cassano's);
  •     Denise McNamee (£25 voucher for Wrights Tools);
  •     Roberta Crabb (£20 voucher for Stardust);
  •     Kim Wheeler (£20 voucher from The Spicebank);
  •     Aimee Cross (2 main meals at The Hippodrome);
  •     Mrs S Howlett (a large pizza from Domino's).

The March Summer Festival Committee would also like to thank John Whitehead (the MC); the Skull Splitters Motorcycle Club (Security); the stallholders; the parade participants; the numerous volunteers who helped run the event and local businesses who have given help, prizes and sponsorship. They would also like to say that help and ideas are always welcome for future festivals and if you would like to do so, please get in touch via Clive Lemmon at the Town Hall on March 653709.

The March Summer Festival is non-profit making and is made possible by grants from March Town Council, Fenland District Council and PRS for Music along with advertising revenue, sponsorship and donations made during the weekend.

There is also a gallery of photographs of the event, courtesy of Anthony Hylton - Gallery.

Report on March Summer Festival 2013

The sun may not have shined during much of the weekend, but the rain held off, and the people of March kept on smiling as they enjoyed this year’s packed Summer Festival programme. Thousands of people flocked to West End Park to enjoy the music; the Gala Parade through the town; the variety of stalls and amusements in the Lions Gala and a host of activities during the Picnic in the Park.
 On Friday hundreds of people gathered in front of the open air stage to enjoy the line-up of 'Rock in the Park' which this year was chosen by the members of Young People March. The evening included a selection of lively young and 'up and coming' musicians – The Projectionist, Death Radio, Damaged and Her Dying Regret. The highlight of the evening must have been the eccentric outfits worn by Death Radio!

The Lions Gala occupied many during Saturday morning but by mid-day thousands lined the streets to see the Gala Parade, organised by Rob Skoulding and Graham Litchfield, led by the Town Crier, Bernard Keane, and his wife Sheila riding a vintage tandem, followed by the Gala Princess Charlotte Brearley and her attendant, Hannah Rose Howes (sponsored by March Lions and the Fenland Citizen), and the Mayor of March Cllr Andrew Pugh. The colourful parade also included the Farcet Twist and Twirl Majorettes, Vivien the vintage fire engine (sponsored by former Mayor Patsy Brewin), Sambanda and many other local groups, businesses and individuals.

Cambridgeshire Caledonia Pipe Band to lead our 2011 Festival ParadeWhen the crowds returned to West End Park, the Gala was officially opened by the March Lions President, Mike Eatock, along with Andrew Pugh and Jason Wing. They were followed by the presentation of the trophies to the Winners in the Parade: Willy Wonka (Mallett Trophy for Best in Parade) and the Ballet Dancers from Dance Mania (Skoulding Trophy for Best Individuals).

The Fancy Dress competition then took place, judged by Patsy Brewin, Nigel Coley and Yvonne Eatock. Prizes for both winners and runners-up, donated by Boyes and The Toy Box were awarded: Young children category – Talyn Gibson as Yoda and Holly Andrews as Rapunzel; Older children – Laura Spies as Miss Perfect, and Jake Spies as Woody from Toy Story; Any age – Julie Spies as a clown and Collin Andrews as Summer.

The weather remained mild as the usual huge audience watched the delightful dancing of Lisa Dickinson’s Dance Mania and Sarah's Street Style Dance, interspersed with brief performances by the talented young singer guitarists Misty Jones and Dan Austin and the promising young band, Radiowave. Others wandered around the numerous gala stalls and attractions or enjoyed the other new spectacle of 'Pig Racing'. There was also a chance to view the parade vehicles on display at Brewin Chase!

It was then time to enjoy the boundless energy of local Mod/Ska/Reggae band Scooted’n’Booted, the Classic Rock of Soulweaver and the blend of Celtic Rock performed by The Band from County Hell. They were followed by the amazing UK Beach Boys, who though they didn’t manage to get the sun to shine, gave many people of all ages the desire to get up and dance, soak up the sound of summer, and even try ‘surfing’ on the new aluminium cable cover. Martin Goodjohn from Soulweaver remarked at the end of the evening that “the lovely festival, lovely sound, fantastic audience…put a lot of other bigger festivals to shame.”

Sunday afternoon followed the usual pattern as hundreds of people arrived for 'Picnic in the Park', to hear the mellow music provided by Chatteris Town Band, The Dead Swingers and The Rainmen. Also on the stage were a number of talented local folk musicians, collectively known as Friendly Fenland Folk and a performance of old favourites by the members of March and District Amateur Operatic Society.

For the children there were varied activities including the ever popular Circus Skills Workshop with Adrian Ley, Storytelling by Paul Jackson and the colouring competition organised by Penny Hicks. Prizes for the competition, mostly donated by Greetings, were awarded to Morgain Broad and Paige Talmage (Under 5 category); Kyle Sharman and Jarden Cains (5 – 7 year old); Daisy Brooks and Jodie Mottram (8 – 11 year old) and Siobhan Halliday and Jordan Stoner (12 and over). There was also an prize presented for outstanding achievement to Amber Freshwater.  The afternoon was enhanced by face painting provided by Ellie Berry and friends.

 As the afternoon drifted into evening, the weather remained dry but cooler, but it did not put off hundreds of people who stayed in the park to enjoy the Last Night of the Proms style performance by the Alan Norris Big Band. It was the perfect ending for an amazing weekend. John Whitehead, the MC for the festival said that he was delighted with the whole event and couldn’t think of a better way to describe it than by quoting a couple of cyclists who were travelling through the fens who said they had “never seen such a wonderful event put on anywhere else on their travels.”

During the evening the Grand prize draw took place. Winners were as follows: M Chapman (meal for 2 at the Shah Jahan); S Hennells (carvery meal for 2 at Cassano's); P Hicks (carvery meal for 2 at the Oliver Cromwell Hotel); M Smith (meal for 2 at Ye Olde Griffin; B Grant (£25 voucher for The Ship); L Wilkes (£20 Stardust voucher); S Rutter and D Edwards (craft kits from Storeys); R Crabb (CDs from WMS Music).

The March Summer Festival Committee would also like to thank John Whitehead (the MC); the stallholders, the parade participants and the numerous volunteers who helped run the event and local businesses who have given help and sponsorship. They would also like to say that help is always welcome for future festivals and if you would like to do so, please get in touch via Clive Lemmon at the Town Hall on March 653709.

There is also a gallery of photographs of the event, courtesy of Charles David Photography Ltd.