Party in the Park 2014

So it’s all over for another year, but we’ve been left with some great memories and hopefully some new friends. It was amazing how many neighbours met for the first time – some of who have lived on the street for years! And best of all, we raised £1,421 for Myton Hospice.

The day started with ominous grey crowds and drizzly rain. It had also rained overnight so the ground was wet – could this ruin the carefully-planned day?

Our band of volunteers set up the gazebos and the stands started to take shape. As the finishing touches were being made, the rain stopped and the sun was on its way!

The first visitors started to arrive at midday and the tombola drew the biggest crowd, sometimes with a queue forming for tickets. We also had face painting, a lucky dip, football and other games for kids, and the Leamington Picture Quiz. The answers to the Quiz are revealed here.

The day got even warmer as the World Cup themed Bake Off was judged by our two expert tasters. The winners in the children’s category had produced a fabulous round cake with green icing, decorated with a football theme. Well done girls! The winner in the adult category repeated his victory from last year. This time he baked a group of cupcakes decorated to show goal-line technology – an imaginative entry and a worthy winner!

As the ground dried up and the sun came out, friends and neighbours got out their picnic blankets, tupperwares…and occasionally wine glasses. The BBQ started to sizzle as the sun got even hotter and Factor 30 was being slapped on. So much for the weather forecast of rain all day…

A photographer from the Courier arrived and everyone posed for a group photo. Let’s see if we make it into the paper this week.

Next the Sports Day kicked off with the egg & spoon race, and kids were delighted with their medals. Some even managed to win two or three. The three-legged and sack races went off almost without incident apart from a few dramatic falls. We hadn’t seen so much determination in the men’s sack race since Mo Farah won gold!

Chairs were assembled and the auctioneer got his megaphone ready for the Grand Charity Auction. This was the first time we had tried an auction – and it will definitely be something we repeat. When the first lot of “a fish and chip supper from Pete’s Plaice” sold for £8 we knew it would be a success! As the lots got bigger and bigger, so did the money being offered. One of the highlights of the auction was the £220 bid for a week’s holiday accommodation in France.

As the end of the event drew near, it was time for Tug of War – the battle of the sexes. Last year it was won by the women, so this year the men were 100% determined and focused. Not focused enough though, as they lost for the second year running. OK so the rope snapped three times, people ended up sitting on their neighbours’ laps and walked away with burns and grazes from the rope…but the women still won!

The day came to an end with sunburn, Tug of War rope burn, tombola prizes galore and £1,421 raised for Myton Hospice.

Thanks to everyone who attended and everyone who helped out, to make it such a successful and memorable event. We’re looking forward to next year already.

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