In October 2008 at the Peasedown Youth Centre, the first ever Party in the Park meeting was held, including those from groups that had hosted events before and a collection of brand new people.
From the early beginnings of pulling together ideas on a large sheet of flip chart paper, the Peasedown Party in the Park brand was born.
The first event, pitched as a grand family fun day, was opened in 2009 by Glastonbury Festival founder Michael Eavis and held in the new location of Beacon Field.
With a small stage for musical performances and around 1,500 people attending, this was a great start to a string of successful festivals.
Now, nine years on, Peasedown’s Party in the Park festival has become one of the most popular in the region, with almost 2,500 visitors and more than £7,000 being secured each year to fund the event.
Last week, the festival committee held their Annual General Meeting where the total amount raised from 9 festivals and 6 Christmas in the Park events through sponsorship, stall holder fees and entrance gate donations, was revealed.
Treasurer Joy Fraser said: “When I added it all up I was surprised at how much money has been raised over the fifteen events we have held. Much of the money has been re-invested into Party in the Park each year but some has also gone to help projects in the village and it is good to be able to do that.”
When all the figures had been added up, the team revealed that a massive £77,002.52 has been raised.
Almost £11,000 has been given back to the community through grants. Groups that have benefitted include:
- Peasedown Wellbeing Group;
- Wansdyke Play Association;
- Peasedown In Bloom;
- Laurel Farm Kindergarten;
- Peasedown St John Scouts;
- Peasedown Methodist Church;
- Peasedown St John Youth & Children’s Centre;
- Beacon Hall Lunch Club;
- Peasedown Youth Albion FC;
- Bath All Starz Cheerleaders;
- Peasedown Cricket Club;
- Peasedown Primary School;
- Peasedown St John Residents Association;
- Time 2 Share.
As well as events, the team run a volunteer scheme which gives those that take part the chance to receive a reference for education or employment; a Grant Fund which supports Peasedown-based projects; a community award in memory of the late Sara Holley; and they have launched their own exclusive cider – Peasedown Diamond.
Festival Chairman Nathan Hartley believes none of these could have been achieved without the support of faithful volunteers who give up their time each year.
He said: “My thanks go to the team over the past year, who have brought a wealth of knowledge, expertise and passion to the roles they’ve performed; Joy Fraser, Karen Walker, Mike Auton, Craig Gill, Helen Thorn, Jo Davis, Andrea Feeney and Tom Benyon.
“We couldn’t do what we do though without the 30-40 people who commit time and energy at the festival to give out programmes, collect litter and help set up and pack away at the end of the day.”
The Party in the Park volunteer scheme, Be Part of It, gives volunteers the chance to sign up and in return receive a certificate, and food vouchers to use on the day of the festival.
For more details about Party in the Park or any of their associated initiatives visit www.peasedownpartyinthepark.org.uk. They can also be followed on Twitter: @peasedown_party
Organisers have now set a date for the 10th Annual Party in the Park next year – Saturday 9th June 2018, 12 noon – 7 pm, Beacon Field, Peasedown St John.