Thousands turn out for first Festival of the Arts in Bognor

Holly Mason with her daughter Aby,13 looking at the art works hanging from the trees. All pictures by Kate Shemilt. ks16000605-15 SUS-160205-200229008
Holly Mason with her daughter Aby,13 looking at the art works hanging from the trees. All pictures by Kate Shemilt. ks16000605-15 SUS-160205-200229008

A celebration of the arts and crafts on offer right across the Arun district took place in Hotham Park on Saturday.

The inaugural Festival of the Arts attracted thousands of visitors, who came to meet local artists and see their work on display, as well as having a go themselves.

Members of the Theatre Workshop who performed at the event. ks16000605-11 SUS-160105-085116008

Members of the Theatre Workshop who performed at the event. ks16000605-11 SUS-160105-085116008

There was a host of stalls, workshops and entertainment for children and adults to enjoy, and the fine weather helped make the event a big success.

Charlotte Payne, one of the seven Festival of the Arts members involved in the event, said: “We were supported by Arun District Council who wanted us to put on an event that would engage the community with the arts and crafts on offer in the district.

“We had 30 different arts and craft stalls there on the day, as well as lots of food stalls selling things like hotdogs and homemade pizzas.

“We had a gallery marquee where local artists and students displayed their work and carried out mosaic, pottery and felt-making workshops.

Gracie Waller, nine and her sister Abbie, three, creating an artwork.ks16000605-12 SUS-160105-085339008

Gracie Waller, nine and her sister Abbie, three, creating an artwork.ks16000605-12 SUS-160105-085339008

“There was performances on the bandstand from different bands, performers and theatre groups, and a Samba band marching through the site. They gave out instruments to children so they could join in, and from the feedback we’ve had that was their ‘wow factor’.

“We had at least 3,500 people attend during the day which we’re really pleased with. We advertised it beforehand but you never know until the day, I think the sunny weather helped.”

Youngsters got creative by taking part in a number of fun workshops held by Arty Peace.

There was also a pixie door treasure hunt, where children had to find out ten things about the different artists to earn stickers for a prize.

Jack Cooke, 11 with his brother Josh, seven,  and  Kiera,  six looking at ceramics made by Chris  Weadon.ks16000605-1

Jack Cooke, 11 with his brother Josh, seven, and Kiera, six looking at ceramics made by Chris Weadon.ks16000605-1

“We spoke to the council and they said they were really pleased with how it went and how we met the objective of engaging the community with the arts and crafts,” Charlotte added.

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Crowds enjoying the day

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