‘Summer spectacular’ to celebrate Olympics

Horsham Sparks in the Parks event in previous years
Horsham Sparks in the Parks event in previous years

HORSHAM District Council is preparing to celebrate the London 2012 Olympic Games with a free summer spectacular in Horsham Park – so put the date in the diary today.

The Sparks in the Park event will take place in Horsham Park this summer on Sunday July 15 from 12noon to 5pm.

This year the Horsham District celebrates the exciting arrival of Caribbean Olympic athletes who are using Horsham’s leisure facilities as a pre Games training camp.

The London 2012 Olympic Games will hand over to Rio so of course a Rio Carnival is planned for the council’s event too.

Final details and celebrity appearances are still to be confirmed but there will be plenty of sporting fun, live music, dance, street theatre, plenty of mascot mayhem and the grand finale of the flamboyant and colourful Rio themed Carnival parade.

Families will love Sparks in the Park as the younger children can have fun on giant inflatables, frolic on the soft play and laugh at the clowning, mascots and magic.

Older children can enjoy the thrills provided by Bensons Fun Fair as well as trampolining and street theatre.

For teenagers, local award winning driving school, Stay Safe, who are sponsoring the event, will be offering a special driving experience for anyone over the age of 14.

Throughout the afternoon, local visitor attractions, community groups and local charities will be on hand with displays, stalls and activities raising money for local good causes.

Visitors can bring a picnic or enjoy some great tasting international food as they browse the stalls, watch the entertainment and enjoy some great live music and dance on the main stage throughout the afternoon.

Sparks in the Park is organised by Horsham District Council with free entry and free parking across the town centre. A donation to The Rotary Club of Horsham will be requested from those choosing to park in Horsham Park during the day.

Horsham District Council cabinet member for arts, heritage and leisure, Jonathan Chowen, is excited by the prospects for the event and said: “The timing of this year’s Horsham Park event has been adjusted to allow us to welcome the Caribbean athletes who will be training in our area and we look forward to representatives of their countries joining us at our most spectacular summer community event.

“I love the way this event celebrates so many aspects of local arts, leisure and community involvement and hope everyone who visits will have a wonderful day out.”

Bensons Funfair will be open from Thursday 13 July to late on Sunday 15 July.

Rio Carnival

One of the highlights of Sparks in the Park this year will be the Rio Carnival, an energetic and flamboyant carnival procession featuring the Blue Touch Paper* samba school, which celebrates the story of St George and the Dragon with a Rio inspired float.

Visitors are advised to grab a camera and get their dancing shoes on to follow groups of fabulous costumes and an integrated samba band.

The Blue Touch Paper project brings disabled and non disabled people together to plan, share skills and make top quality carnival in an accessible way so that everybody can take part.

Sports Zone

The 2012 Sports Zone is a major part of the event programme with a wide range of have a go sports for all to watch or to take part in including badminton, volleyball, football, karate, tennis, tri-golf and more.

Look out for ‘Set4Success’, a new Horsham District charity, offering financial support to potential sporting champions of the future, who will be on hand providing information, competitions and have a go challenges.

A full programme of events will be available to download from the Sparks in the Park website in early July.

For further information email Horsham District Council’s Events team at events@horsham.gov.uk or telephone 01403 215279