Rock in the Park to kick off March Summer Festival

March Summer Festival 2014 (Photo: Barry Giddings)

March Summer Festival 2014 (Photo: Barry Giddings) - Credit: Archant

Final preparations are underway for a weekend of free entertainment for the 16th March Summer Festival, which takes place from June 12-14.

Volunteers who make up the March Summer Festival Committee have lined up three days of live music, demonstrations, children’s activities, static displays and the annual carnival parade.

• Rock in the Park will kick off the festival, on Friday June 12, at 6pm. Co-ordinated by Chris Revett of CamBlast Promotions, it will showcase a number of young bands.

On the bill are Peterborough hip-hop/rock/metal act Stringfinger, old school classic heavy medal act Kaine and King’s Lynn deathcore band Dispossession take to the stage.

Headliners are West-London based band Exist Immortal, who fuse catchy melodies, soaring epic vocals, technical riffing and all out groove.

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• On Saturday, June 13, from 11am, charity stalls and traders will be set up in West End Park for the March Lions Gala.

The annual parade starts at noon and will be led by Vivien the vintage fire engine, in a tribute to the late Patsy Brewin, followed by the Gala Princess and her attendant in a horse-drawn carriage.

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Next in line will be the classic vehicles, then many local groups and finally the decorated floats which make a return.

• The afternoon’s entertainment at Party in the Park is officially opened at 1.45pm by Councillor Rob Skoulding, the mayor of March, Ruth Martin, March Lions President, and Barry Howlett, of the March Branch of the Royal British Legion. Winners of the best float and best fancy dress competitions will also be announced.

It’s followed by performances from Lisa Dickinson’s Dance Mania (2.15pm), Frivolity (3.10pm) and Lee Enstone (3.50pm).

The classic vehicles from the parade will also be on display in Oxbow Crescent, while March Bears Rugby Club will give a demonstration at 2.45pm and the March History Group and March Museum will provide a display on the ending of the Second World War.

• Pop in the Park takes over at 4.30pm, starting with Ska band Scooted n Booted. They are followed by a John Preston Tribute Band at 5.30pm and Whiskey Twist at 7pm.

Headlining Pop in the Park is Paul Henderson, a Peterborough based David Bowie tribute singer who has been described as the best Bowie tribute in the UK. He will be supported by one his backing band, from 8.15pm.

• On Sunday, June 14, from 12.30-6.15pm, revellers can settle down for Picnic in the Park, with the soundtrack provided by local brass, jazz, folk and pop bands.

They include Chatteris Town Band, March and District Amateur Operatic Society, Ivan Garford’s Hell Fire Club and Cat in the Mangle.

There will also be circus acts, a dog show organised by Doggy Styling, a colouring competition and more.

• The festival finale will see the Fenland Youth Swing Band take to the stage (7.30-9.30pm), directed by Alan Norris. Were the rain to intervene, this concert would take place at St Peter’s Church.

The band, which debuted at the festival last year at the Picnic in the Park, comprises 23 musicians, mostly students of Neale-Wade Academy.

It will provide a mixture of classic big band music, much of it from the 1940s, and will finish with a mass sing-a-long to We’ll Meet Again, Land of Hope and Glory and The National Anthem.

• March Chamber of Commerce is running a ‘Best Dressed Business Premises’ competition for this year’s festival.

Businesses that enter the competition can choose from one of two themes – either Here Comes Summer or Celebrating our History. The competition will be judged on Friday, June 12.

Debbie Buck, of the Chamber, said: “Although the focus of our work is the promotion of local businesses, the festival reminds us that we are also town residents and, as such, we can enjoy the co-operation of local government, agencies, volunteers, citizens and visitors combining to make a truly memorable weekend.”

• Free souvenir programmes for the festival are available from March Town Hall, the library, the George Campbell Leisure Centre and many town centre shops. There should also be some available on the park during the event.

All the programmes contain a chance to win one of many prizes, donated by businesses, in the prize draw, for which a donation of a minimum of 50p will be required.

Last entries must be received before the Sunday night concert as winners will be announced during the interval.

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