Durrington Festival enjoys a record-breaking year

Carnival Princess: Mayor Paul Baker and his wife Sandra presenting an award to Holly Elves for her donation of 12 inches of hair to the Little Princess Trust SUS-181206-143339001
Carnival Princess: Mayor Paul Baker and his wife Sandra presenting an award to Holly Elves for her donation of 12 inches of hair to the Little Princess Trust SUS-181206-143339001

Durrington Festival celebrated its 27th anniversary on Saturday (June 9) with a record-breaking turnout.

At its peak more than 4,000 visitors attended the annual carnival at Pond Lane Recreation Ground to celebrate the great and the good within the community.

Carnival: The winning float from New Life Church and St Symphorians SUS-181206-163833001

Carnival: The winning float from New Life Church and St Symphorians SUS-181206-163833001

The festival sees about 10,000 people pass through over the course of the day but is organised by a team of just five people.

Twenty-three year old festival chairman Jack Clements, of Chesley Close, got involved through his mum Sharon, who has helped organise the event for the last ten years.

“Durrington Festival’s all about promoting the community, schools and businesses and showcasing our local organisations,” he said.

“It went really, really well and we had a great turnout for the day.”

The Barnabee out in support of St Barnabas House SUS-180613-142744001

The Barnabee out in support of St Barnabas House SUS-180613-142744001

Keeping with tradition, Worthing mayor Paul Baker opened the festival and was there to lend a hand throughout the day.

Mr Baker presented Stuart Upperton with the Peter Bloxham Award, a recognition of people who have given up their time to help out in the community.

Mr Upperton was recognised for work such as creating sets for St Barnabas House’s Light up a Life Christmas event and painting a mural on the ceiling of the playroom at Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice.

The main event was the carnival of decorated floats but there were plenty of other attractions to keep visitors entertained.

Ghostbusters gear up for the carnival in support of St Barnabas House SUS-180613-142755001

Ghostbusters gear up for the carnival in support of St Barnabas House SUS-180613-142755001

Exhibits included One Stop Party Shop, from Richmond Road, dressed as Disney characters and entertaining the crowds with song and dance, and a fun fair.

Martial artists from Teach Me Kung Fu were also on hand to provide free tuition to children looking to master the art of self-defence.

Local organisations can host events during the carnival free of charge to promote their businesses, with all proceeds raised going back into organising the next year’s event.

“As soon as the festival ends, preparations for the next one begin,” said Mr Clements, who is currently training to be a nurse.

The Peter Bloxham Award: Mayor Paul Baker and festival vice-chair Sharon Clements presenting the award to Stuart Upperton for his work with St Barnabas and Chestnut Tree House SUS-181206-163822001

The Peter Bloxham Award: Mayor Paul Baker and festival vice-chair Sharon Clements presenting the award to Stuart Upperton for his work with St Barnabas and Chestnut Tree House SUS-181206-163822001

He said none of the five-strong committee have experience of organising large events in their day-to-day lives but enjoy the challenge and are already looking forward to next year’s event.