Count Down To Party

SUNDAY brings the start of an exciting week as the Festival of Wick gets underway.

The festival takes place from Sunday until Saturday's unmissable Family Fun Day in the marquees on the playing fields at Wickbourne Infants and Flora Macdonald schools.

But it simply couldn't go ahead without the hard work and donations from the many committed volunteers and local businesses.

One Wick businessman who has supported the Festival of Wick for the last five years is Roger Arthurs of Going Spare.

"Ever since the day Paul Sanderson from the Wire Project came in to the shop five years ago to ask if we would like to help, I wanted to give my support to the festival.

"I was just really impressed with the whole thing from the word go, everything the Wire has done has been so good, really well run, enthusiastic and vibrant," he said.

Roger has been in the retail car trade for more than 13 years and runs the car parts shop in Wick Street.

He has given more than 1,000 to the festival during its five-year history and has also given up a lot of spare time, and can often be seen putting up or taking down Festival of Wick bunting in the shopping area.

He says he is particularly looking forward to the film night on Monday, Saturday's family fun day and the five-a-side football match on Tuesday.

And this year, he will be on the air-waves with a couple of guest slots on the Wick FM morning show, with Paul and Lucy weekday mornings from 7-9am.

Wick FM was due to begin transmitting yesterday morning on 87.7FM and is a great way to catch up on the latest festival info, as well as listening to a great selection of music and gossip.

Look out for the special Wick FM pull-out in the middle of the Festival of Wick programmes. They are free and are readily available from many retail outlets in Littlehampton and Wick.

And if you have access to a radio on Saturday and Sunday night, listen out for Otis P Funkmeyer aka Shoreham Herald roving reporter Jamie Hailstone, with a selection of soul and disco classics!

Day one of the festival kicks off with a family church celebration at 4pm, followed by picnic at 5pm.

A full programme of fun takes place throughout the week, culminating in the Family Fun Day and Giant Family Party with disco and fireworks on Saturday, August 17.

New for this year's festival is the Wick pop idols competition, with different age categories, including adults, hoping to find the next Will Young or Gareth Gates.

And it's showbiz all the way, with auditions for this year's Christmas Panto Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves taking place on Friday afternoon.

All the old favourites are back, including the ever-popular Live Wires playscheme for five to 10-year-olds, the Ark playscheme for those aged three and four, and Art Attack.

The SureStart Teddytots Roadshow for mums and their 0 to four-year-olds is on every morning from 10am-12.30pm as well as picnics, bingo, football and Time 4 Me, a pamper evening for women only, which is definitely not to be missed.

X-treme for teens kicks off each day at 2pm, with X-treme Xtra events most evenings.

Daytime activities include water fights, crazy sports, graffiti, DJ workshops, self-defence and much, much more.

Local pubs have joined in with the fun and will be hosting fringe events such as quizzes, pool tournaments and live music most nights.

Look out for Festival of Wick programmes or you can log on to www.wickonline.com, for a full run-down of this year's many exciting events.