Huge crowds gathered in glorious sunshine over the Easter weekend to make Horsham’s 13th Piazza Italia festival a roaring success.
Visitors were treated to a perennial blend of supercars, Italian market stalls, street food, themed entertainments and business promotions during the two-day event.
Good Friday’s Horsham Churches Together bandstand service and Walk of Witness procession drew a massive audience who got the Carfax off to a rousing start accompanied by the surrounding bustle of the already trading stalls.
Hundreds of supercars did their best to dominate proceedings, but huge cheers and applause were reserved for the departure of the classic Fiat 500s and 30th Anniversary Italian Job Minis on Friday, and the sole green Fiat 126 from Horsham Barbershop on Easter Monday.
A brilliant bouquet of Italian bikes also set pulses racing as they roared through.
Horsham District Year of Culture boosted entertainments with an opera singer and roving accordion player on Friday and an Italian jazz trio and more opera on Monday.
A few town businesses including Crates Local Produce, Carmela Deli, Paninos and The Horsham Cellar also had something special to offer.
Horsham Time Well Spent events annual sponsors were well to the fore, with Brock Taylor hosting the Sporting Bears team who held charity ride outs both days raising £5,680 for Chestnut Tree House and The Children’s Trust – an event record.
Recently rebranded Impact Specialist Finance sponsored the departure gate, and Cote Brasserie presented the first of five Concours d’Elegance awards for best turned out vehicles at Horsham’s 2019 events – the award on Monday going to the owner of an immaculate 30-year-old Ferrari 328GTS.
Henfield Van Hire & Storage, who had provided the event team transport, donated their hire fee to the children’s charities, and Billy’s Transport presented their car trailering service to drivers attending.
Premier GT of Washington excelled themselves on Easter Monday presenting high value cars that numbered over 120, with an impressive wave of Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Maseratis which paraded through the Carfax joined by a large McLaren and Porsche contingent that had been billed as England v Germany supercars.
Show compere Tim Fifield returned this year, and social media was driven by By Jove Media working closely with Tim for live streaming reports.
Event organiser Horsham District Council wishes to thank all commercial and voluntary participants for giving the town such an enjoyable weekend.
The council also wishes to thank ETMS and SERV Sussex for the traffic management services they provided and event sponsors Kwik Fit, Premier GT, Bishops (part of FGB Barnes Group) and Bunny Motors.
Plans for a huge town event programme, supported by the council in keeping with the Year of Culture celebrations, are now in full swing with a ‘magnificent seven’ in prospect before the end of September, capped by the a greatly expanded Horsham AmeriCARna event on Sunday September 29.
Horsham’s Great British Weekend is the next major Horsham Time Well Spent event with a day of marvellous Morris dancing mayhem on Saturday May 11, and a day of British favourites on Sunday May 12 including Loxwood Joust, traction engines, music and dance, classic British cars from Sadcase and Aston Martin Owners Club Area 16.