Highfield Fest 2015  

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Over 500 people enjoyed the fabulous FREE event that is Prudhoe’s Highfield Fest on Sunday 28th June.  This is the 6th event of its kind and it is fair to say the occasion has grown with more and more local groups and enterprises becoming involved.

New this year was Ley Poleguns, a Pole Fitness expose by Lesley Jackson who runs classes in the area (for more information, check out her Facebook page).  Lesley was also joined by her students and they all wowed the crowds with their strength and agility.  Even 2nd Dan Black Belt Wayne Bond (Seiken Ryu Karate) couldn’t match their skill, but had a lot of fun trying.

Local artist John Craggs brought graffiti art to Highfield Park and 20 young people went home with their own stylized artwork on boards.  This successful attraction was funded by Prudhoe Youth Charity Shop who are always looking for ways to put their fundraising back into the community, for the good of young people. 

The selfie tent was also an added attraction this year and the event was lucky enough to have FREE wifi thanks to Radio Prudhoe.  There were lots of hats, wigs and other props to feed the selfie craze and some crazy portrait photographs as a result.  Although the selfie tent was unsupervised this year, Debbie Young Photography has kindly offered to take this on next year, interest in the attraction is sure to grow.

Wonderful photographs were taken of the inflatable attractions from NBK Leisure, set against the impressive landscape, the skies were ever changing and the weather was due to be kind, and thankfully it was.  Thompson’s of Prudhoe sponsored The Demolition Zone, for obvious reasons, and there was a constant queue of adults and children alike, wishing to knock friends and family over with a boulder.  The inflatable assault course is another much loved attraction and this along with the bouncy castle and giant slide kept the little ones entertained for hours, what is not to enjoy, and all for FREE!  For the more adventurous there was a rodeo bull, with many a rider landing softly before having yet another go.

Football sporting challenges were brought by Davy and Jack Armstrong of Prudhoe Youth Football Club, who as well chasing footballs and setting up strikes were encouraging the younger generation to tie their own shoelaces – a trial of many parents and referees.  Golf and archery were also on the order of the day.  1st Prudhoe Scouts offered an amazing set up for target practise with longbows; Legolas himself would have been pleased to pick up a bow and take aim!  Sean McDougle of 1st Prudhoe Scouts said "1st Prudhoe Scout Group are delighted to have been part of the Fantastic event held last weekend.  It was a pleasure to take part and give something back to the community.  Those who chanced their arm at the archery were all polite and eager to learn a new sport, or have another go since they tried last year.  There are some fantastic shots in Prudhoe.  We didn't get to see the other attractions as we had a queue no less than 10 deep from 11:01 through to 16:45 (when we had to stop through fatigue), saying that the music was fantastic all afternoon, and that kept us going; from the modern hits to the classic Led Zeppelin and Dire Straits tributes.  Again, thank you for letting us enjoy sharing in this super event."

As well as many smiling faces, there were also painted faces a plenty thanks to Julie Charlton ‘Face-painting by Julie’.  Julie thoroughly enjoys attending this event and said “It's so nice to see some children coming back to get their faces painted and they remember me from the previous year.  Today’s favourite ranged from tigers to flowers, Annesha’s School of Dance group loved their design.”

Both Energize Dance Group and Annesha’s School of Dance performed at Highfield Fest and were delighted to have been part of the event.  Jill Newton of Energize Dance said “we are asked to do a lot of events in the community and we always want to support this one as it is about families enjoying themselves on their doorstep.”

There were four bands playing at The Fest this year; it’s a great opportunity to showcase the talent in the town and adds a festival theme of the event, especially playing from the impressive trailer from RTH Lubbers and ex-trucker and local lad Tony Monnelly.  JADE, The Neighbourhood Blues Band, Divine Crown and Lyrical Whisky all play regular gigs and can be contacted via Prudhoe Town Council or find them on Facebook.

The wind caused minor problems for the tents of Kirkley Zoo and Prudhoe Parents Group, but their tenacity won out and animals and crafts were enjoyed in equal measure.  Prudhoe Parents Group provided a crafty interlude between running and bouncing; they bring lots of glitter to events and their home at Sure Start Children’s Centre on Broomhouse Lane.  We are assured that all the animals went home with Kirkley Zoo, but if whilst you are at Highfield Park you run into a giant snail, please contact Prudhoe Town Council. 

Chairman of Prudhoe Town Council, Mrs Eileen Burt, took to the stage to thank the many people involved in making Highfield Fest a success and said “Another great and free family fun day at Highfield Park, thoroughly enjoyed by lots of Prudhoe families and their friends; many thanks to everyone who helped to make it such an enjoyable day.”

Catering was supplied by Yvonne Fox and Rea’s Ices.  Thanks to Ian Lowery, Carol Quinn, Joe Ridley, John Robson and Keith Park for their help and support on the day, as well as our local councillors.

See further coverage and photographs from the Hexham Courant.

58 Front Street The Spetchells Centre Prudhoe Northumberland NE42 5AA Tel: (01661) 835487 email: prudhoetc@hotmail.com
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