The magical wonderland of Enchanted Horsham took to the stage in Horsham Park over the bank holiday weekend delighting, exciting and creating a festival atmosphere in the glorious sunshine.
A highlight of the Year of Culture event’s programme, the dazzling three-day family friendly festival brought to life the myths and history of Horsham, with fire breathing dragons, dinosaur and dragon bone digs, a young unicorn in training, beautiful illuminations, stunning projections, light shows, and a breathtaking fire hoopers performance.
Building from last year’s successes and addressing suggestions made by past visitors, the extravaganza was bigger and better than ever, with a wide range of children’s activities including sand art, wand making and dream catcher creations being hugely popular with little ones, whilst a dedicated baby change and clean up tent also provided a much welcomed facility for parents.
Robin Morley, one of the Enchanted Horsham’s organiser’s said: “We are absolutely delighted with the feedback we have received from this year’s event about the new and unique attractions have created.
"We have always aimed to embrace the rich heritage and mystique that surrounds Horsham and for the magic to entwine its way throughout the whole event.
"This year’s addition of unique creatures such as Gnomus, the Guardian of the Dragon Eggs, has helped us to create even more excitement. It has been a privilege to be part of Horsham’s Year of Culture programme and we are looking forward to creating even more magic in the park next year.”
Roving performers delighted the crowds as jugglers, hoop acrobatics and circus skills artists were seen across the site, and Dan the Hat drew large crowds with his ‘audience participation’ street entertainment and comedy shows that included juggling, yoyo skills a pineapple and catapult board.
As dusk fell, a huge magnificent silver mechanical dragon with pyrotechnical performers heralded the opening of the illuminated gardens. And, whilst the mermaid welcomed her audience with her hauntingly magical songs at the beautifully lit pond, Park House formed the backdrop to an exceptionally creative large-scale illumination projection about Horsham’s own dinosaur, the Horshamosaurus Ruggwickensis.
With many visitors returning for the second year, Tamsin Shaw from Roffey said: “We attended last year and enjoyed the event, but this year it is amazing.
"I am here with both my parents and children, and we are loving the mixture of activities, entertainment, interesting stalls and food. It is rare to find an event that we can all enjoy.
"My daughter loves the little unicorn and her LED lit candy floss, my son the Dragon’s Eye VR headset and Drone at the At Home Estate Agents stand, and my dad is trying to convince my mum to take a turn on the dressing up charity catwalk...”
Heather Joy, who attended the event, said: "For some, the highlight was the eclectic lineup of rock ‘n’ roll, reggae, jazz, ska, on the main stage, along with the extensive array of mouth-watering global street food stalls, pop-up restaurants, and bars that provided a huge variety of tempting treats for all.
"For me, it was the stunning creation of the Dragon’s Egg Hatchery. With the delightfully crafted dragon’s eggs that were lit from within as they surrounded the Dragon’s Blacksmith fire pit, and two performers creating enchanting music with the most unusual instruments whilst making the flames dance and change colour, it was easy to believe that magic really was in the air!"