Horsham’s summer extravaganza ‘Sparks in the Park’ today

sparks in the park - sunday 24-7-11 (Pic by Jon Rigby)
sparks in the park - sunday 24-7-11 (Pic by Jon Rigby)

Sparks in the Park, Horsham Park’s summer extravaganza starts today (Sunday July 27) at 12 noon.

The bands and bouncy castles are booked, the Dromos Festival performers are primed, fire engines and police cars are polished and the funfair, charity stalls, caterers and wannabe record-breaking mascots are poised.

With everything ready, this year’s free to attend ‘something for everyone event’ Sparks in the Park, organised by Horsham District Council, is taking place this Sunday 28 July from 12 noon to 5pm in Horsham Park and looks set to be a record breaker of its own.

There are a number of must see and must visit sights at this year’s event.

Vines of Gatwick, proud sponsors of Sparks in the Park, will be offering visitors the opportunity to win a BMW or MINI for the weekend. Just pop down to meet the Vines team located near the Food Court.

In addition, Stay Safe Driving School, also proud sponsors of the summer extravaganza, is offering a special driving experience for anyone over the age of 14.

This is a unique opportunity for young people to find out what it’s like behind the wheel of a real car, trying their hand at precision manoeuvres in a safe and controlled environment while discovering just how important it is to think and react quickly and sensibly while they’re in the driving seat.

In what will be a first in Horsham, amongst much other mascot mayhem, there will be a mascot tug of war and an attempt at a new UK record for the longest mascot conga.

The mascot programme will include a mascot parade starting at 12:30pm, an egg and spoon race at 12:45pm, beat the goalie at 1:30pm, a tug of war at 1:45pm and it will end with the grand mascot conga record breaking attempt at 3pm.

Throughout the afternoon, visitors can try lots of sports including: football, table tennis, basketball, tennis, karate, cycling, rounders, stool ball, volleyball, trampolining, Zorbs, go karts and a display from Kapow Wrestling.

The Rotary Club of Horsham, along with other charities, will be on site providing traditional games and activities while raising money for local good causes.

Horsham Skate Jam, the annual BMX, in-line and skateboarding competition, runs from 11am to 8pm.

The Community Zone will see several local visitor attractions and community groups offering displays, stalls and activities for all across the Park. The Kids’ Active Play Zone will include inflatable fun, soft play, clowning and magic.

There will also be thrills and spills for all the family with Bensons Funfair and a food court with refreshments throughout the day.

A number of open days are also set to take place at The Pavilions in the Park leisure centre, Horsham Superbowl, and Horsham Bowls Club.

Jonathan Chowen, HDC’s cabinet member for arts, heritage and leisure, said: “I can’t wait for another exciting year of Sparks in the Park in Horsham.

“With such a varied events programme on offer over the afternoon, I encourage residents, as well as visitors, to come and join in the fun!”

Getting to Sparks

Given the continuing good weather, the organisers hope that as many families as possible will take the opportunity to walk, cycle or travel sustainably to the Park.

However for those who will drive in, there is free parking across all Horsham District Council’s town centre car parks (information can be found on the council’s website www.horsham.gov.uk).

In previous events there has been parking on the Park itself, however this year it’s not possible as there are a number of new activities planned for these areas.

The North Parade car park will be unavailable for customer parking this year to make way for the Community Safety Showcase, where the emergency services and partners will be coming together to promote community safety within the Horsham district.

As always, there will be a wealth of things to see and do, which provide a unique insight into the work of the emergency services.

The aim is for everyone to enjoy themselves but it’s also about raising awareness about the important work carried out by the emergency services and to highlight what members of the public can do to combat community safety issues in the Horsham district.

The Jubilee Car Park (opposite the Horsham Superbowl) will also close between 10am and 12 noon, in order to accommodate any disabled users of Bensons Funfair at that time.

In the town centre, access to Swan Walk Shopping Centre’s main lifts, toilets and stairs will be available until 5:30pm via the Carfax entrance only.

After this time the Medwin Walk lift access to Swan Walk car park (next to the exit of the Albion Way underpass from Horsham Park) will be kept in operation until 8pm.

The latest news and any changes to the event will be posted on the Council’s facebook (search Horsham District Council) and Twitter (@HorshamDC) pages as well as the Council’s website (www.horsham.gov.uk).

Sparks thanks

Sparks in the Park 2013 would not happen without the kind support from partners and sponsors including: Haldi, Horsham Superbowl, Metrobus, New Curry Centre, Rotary Club of Horsham, Southern, Stay Safe Driving School, Sussex Community Rail Partnership, and Vines BMW.

Programme of events:

12 noon: Official opening of Sparks in the Park 2013 Official opening and welcome by Philip Circus, chairman of HDC

12:10pm: Dragonfly Dance Students will be performing a tribute to the king of pop, Michael Jackson

12:30pm: The Johnson Neilson Theatre Group Drama and dance performances

12:50pm: BellyFunk Fusion Dance (A selection of Funky Fusion Dances, an eclectic mix of dances styles for any age, shape or size)

1:10pm: Phoenix Creative Arts Performing songs from The Shows

1:30pm: SA-AcademyStreet Dance showcase

1:50pm: Vocademy Students will be performing a few of their favourite pop hits

2:10pm: Best Intentions Acoustic harmonies

2:35pm: Bloco do Sul A ‘Samba band’ playing Brasilian inspired percussion music.

2:55pm: Panto Pirates TakeoverDance performance from Captain’s Hook’s band of swarthy seafarers who are appearing in Peter Pan at The Capitol this Christmas

3pm: Mascot Conga The Children’s Trust charity attempt to create a new UK record for a mascot conga.

3:20pm: Just Jhoom! Bollywood medley.

4pm: Strobe Music from 60’s to modern day.