VIDEO & GALLERY: ‘The rain miraculously stopped and the pivotal moment of March Festival was bathed in glorious sunshine’

Sunshine all the way: March Summer Festival 2014 (Photo: Barry Giddings)

Sunshine all the way: March Summer Festival 2014 (Photo: Barry Giddings) - Credit: Archant

A near empty car park, dozens if not hundreds huddled in door ways, under umbrellas or cramped forlornly in their vehicles as the rain threatened this year’s carnival parade in March.

Sunshine all the way: March Summer Festival 2014 (Photo: Barry Giddings)

Sunshine all the way: March Summer Festival 2014 (Photo: Barry Giddings) - Credit: Archant

But disappointment quickly abated as the rain miraculously stopped, the sun came out, the brollies were hastily packed away – and the pivotal moment of March Festival was bathed in glorious sunshine.

March Summer Festival 2014 (Photo: Barry Giddings)

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

Too late of course to save part of the parade (the motor cyclists had, quite properly and sensibly called off attending) but that didn’t stop the street dancers, the musical entertainment and 20 or so vintage vehicles leaving on time and with smiles aplenty.

Sunshine all the way: March Summer Festival 2014 (Photo: Barry Giddings)

Sunshine all the way: March Summer Festival 2014 (Photo: Barry Giddings) - Credit: Archant

The cars went first and then town crier Councillor Bernard Keane and his wife Sylvia pedalling their bicycle made for two heralded the arrival down High Street, through Broad Street and into adjoining side streets of the rest of the procession.

Sunshine all the way: March Summer Festival 2014 (Photo: Barry Giddings)

Sunshine all the way: March Summer Festival 2014 (Photo: Barry Giddings) - Credit: Archant

Parade organiser and deputy mayor Councillor Rob Skoulding, his fingers bearing the scars of having been crossed for most of the morning, breathed a sigh of relief.


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“It was unfortunate that a lot of groups had to cancel due to the weather but well done to all of those who took part,” he said.

“I hope you all agree that the classic car parade is an excellent addition to the festival.”

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With one eye firmly on next year his ambition is to ensure the parade “is bigger and better” and he’s already encouraging more organisations and groups to take part.

With an eclectic range of music in West End Park throughout the weekend, a variety of stalls and entertainment on Saturday afternoon attracting vast numbers of townsfolk and visitors alike, the festival has once again been hailed a great success.

On Facebook and social media support for the festival was enormous with many delighted that March continues to hold such a large, and free, event.

“The organisers have worked hard and should feel very proud of themselves,” posted one mum on Facebook.

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