PICTURES: East Preston Festival attracts hundreds

The winning scarecrow by Tim Critchfield in Willowhayne Avenue, East Preston. Picture: Stephen Goodger
The winning scarecrow by Tim Critchfield in Willowhayne Avenue, East Preston. Picture: Stephen Goodger

The East Preston Festival is well underway – and hundreds of people have turned out to make the village event one to remember.

The festival kicked off on Friday, and during the weekend there were several big events including The Party on The Green, which was held on the village green in Sea Road, East Preston.

Ray Sparks with Mr Punch at the Children's Extravaganza. Picture: Stephen Goodger

Ray Sparks with Mr Punch at the Children's Extravaganza. Picture: Stephen Goodger

The winner of the popular front garden scarecrow competition was Tim Critchfield, of Willowhayne Avenue, for his Doctor Who-themed scene. The Happy Days Pre-School came second.

Kerry Frost, festival chairman, said: “We have had a fantastic start to the festival having been blessed with fabulous weather.

“There is a wonderful sense of community throughout the village and with lots more great events still to come where else would we want to be this week?”

On Saturday afternoon there was a children’s extravaganza in the village hall in Sea Road, East Preston, with many children practising their circus skills under the guidance of Matt and Lee from circus company CircusSeen.

Childrens Extravaganza seven-year-old Harriot Wingfield with Matt Dumbleton from Circus Seen. Picture: Stephen Goodger

Childrens Extravaganza seven-year-old Harriot Wingfield with Matt Dumbleton from Circus Seen. Picture: Stephen Goodger

Entertainers Ray Spark, who was accompanied by Punch and Judy, and Robbie the magician, also entertained the children.

East Preston Floral Club celebrated its 50th anniversary with artful displays in the Art and Flowers Exhibition and some villagers opened their gardens for the Open Gardens and Art Trail which was popular on a glorious Saturday afternoon.

On Saturday evening, locals were transported back to the swinging sixties with tribute band The Vox Beatles.

There was record attendance at the Craft Fair on Sunday, with more than 420 people turning up to the event, and the Party on the Green on Sunday afternoon and evening was a great success with residents enjoying the sunshine on the village green.

Four-year-old Lily Smart had her face painted at the Children's Extravaganza. Picture: Stephen Goodger

Four-year-old Lily Smart had her face painted at the Children's Extravaganza. Picture: Stephen Goodger

After a hard-fought competition, the tug of war was won by the team from The Seaview Hotel in Sea Road, edging out The Clockhouse bar and bistro team, which is a few doors down.

A new addition to the festival took place on Sunday evening: opera and an Italian dinner organised by Ristorante al Mare in The Street, with soprano Cheryl Higgs impressing diners with her singing.

Drag act The Dowager Lady Crabtree shared her pearls of wisdom with audience members on Monday afternoon with her comedy show How to Grow Old Disgracefully, with all the money raised going to St Barnabas House Hospice.

On Tuesday morning, there was an antiques valuation hosted by Paul Campbell of Campbells Auctions in High Street, Worthing.

The Party on the Green was held in The Village Green in Sea Road, East Preston. Picture: Stephen Goodger

The Party on the Green was held in The Village Green in Sea Road, East Preston. Picture: Stephen Goodger

Festival committee member Janine Nicholson thanked residents for their ‘incredible’ support, which added to ‘the often praised vibrant social life in East Preston’. She added that it was also helping to support local charities, community groups and clubs.

Boules were played during The Party on the Green on The Village Green in Sea Road, East Preston. Picture: Stephen Goodger

Boules were played during The Party on the Green on The Village Green in Sea Road, East Preston. Picture: Stephen Goodger

The tug of war is always a popular part of The Party on the Green in the East Preston Festival. Picture: Stephen Goodger

The tug of war is always a popular part of The Party on the Green in the East Preston Festival. Picture: Stephen Goodger