Thousands line town centre for the 18th annual March Summer Festival parade - and then enjoy lots of family fun and entertainment in West End park

PUBLISHED: 17:12 12 June 2017 | UPDATED: 17:12 12 June 2017

March Festival - carnival parade

March Festival - carnival parade


The sun shone on the 18th March Summer Festival Weekend event, which included a new addition - the Soap Box Derby, organised by the March Lions.

n Sunday a couple of hundred people watched as eight entrants competed (five junior and three adult teams) relying completely on gravity (and pushers) to move around the course.

Junior winners were: The Squire Boyz (Dylan and Toby Squires), runners up: Team Hollie (Hollie and Colin Andrews).

Adults winners: The Wheel Nutters (Ben and Dawn Shephard), runners up: Team c21P3, (March fire fighters). Jakob Kightly won a trophy for best cart.

The weekend started on Friday with live music from soloists Sophie Frear and Katy May followed by Cerys Pughsley accompanied by Graham on guitar, rock band Pretty Ace; Tori Lamour and Damaged.

Saturday morning saw City Road car park filled with local groups and classic vehicles for the spectacular parade around the town.

Thousands lined the streets as firstly the classic vehicle parade and then the Gala Princess, 10-year-old Caitlin Beaumont, in a horse-drawn carriage, led various floats, bicycles and hundreds of walkers all with the theme of Flower Power/Summer of Love.

At the back of the parade was an eco-vehicle powered by a cross-trainer and constructed by Stuart Rayner almost didn’t make it into the parade, but thanks to help from members of the fire brigade, took an active part.

Stuart said: “I constructed the vehicle to inspire others, but couldn’t find anyone to ride it in the parade. Thankfully the boys from the fire station ‘rescued’ it at the last minute.”

At the park crowds gathered for the March Lions Gala which was opened by the Gala Princess, accompanied by Lions President Ian Groome and mayor Councillor Kim French, after a minute of solidarity to the people of Manchester and London, led by MC Gary Tustin.

The grand opening was followed by presentations parade winners, Marcus Phillips, March Summer Committee chairman. The Skoulding Trophy was awarded to March Girl Guides as best group, and the Mallett Trophy to Colin and Holly Andrews for best individuals. Bruce Smith presented trophies to the best vehicles.

Penny Hicks judged the fancy dress and presented prizes to: Calleigh Baldock Under 8s winner, Jessica and Jenny Knight were runner-ups; Holly Andrews age 8 to 16 winner, Lily was runner-up; Ben Shepherd over 16s winner, Colin Andrews, runner-up. The Patsy Brewin Trophy was also presented to Holly Andrews as best Under 16 and a special prize went to Sharon Shepherd.

Lisa Dickinson Dance Mania provided entertainment based on the festival theme and The Casey Academy of Irish Dancing followed. 20Twenty Productions Choir also sang.

The Gala section ended with songs by Abigail Miller (15).

Pop in the Park followed with performances from Whiskey Twist and All Glammed Up.

Sunday saw the fun dog show and the Picnic in the Park with 100s of people enjoying music from Fenland Community Orchestra and Fenland Youth Swing Band.

Families enjoyed circus skills with Adrian Ley, face painting by Hayley Dolbear; nature activities and the colouring competition.

Colouring prizes were won by: Tyler Askham and Harrison (Under 8s); Libby Brown and Reece Kyle Simpson (8-11 year olds); Rowan Jack Ley and Jorja Brown (12 plus). Additional prizes were presented to Evie Newman, James Venni and Damien Howe.

March & District Operatics Society (MADAOS) performed followed by the string quartet The Stringlers, Ben Smith & Jimmy Brewer and The Paddy Maguire Band.

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