Highfield Fest 2019..
01 July 2019

If you did not manage to get up to Highfield Fest on Sunday you really did miss out on a free, fun-filled day.

Melanie Nicholson said of the event “Amazing once again, Highfield Fest gets better every year and is a great day out for all the family.”

Although the Town Council had to make last minute changes to the attractions, there was still plenty on offer.  Wind was our nemesis this year and as everyone knows, there isn’t often a day when there is no wind at Highfield Park, however this year the forecast of strong gusts meant that the large inflatables, that have been there each year, were not advisable for safety reasons.

Rachel Blackburn, mother of twin boys, commented she really appreciated the withdrawal of the inflatables due to the high winds as it was good to know that safety was a priority.  Rachel also said “My boys were entertained from 11 till 3; good, honest, family fun – what more can you ask for?  A huge thank you to everyone involved in Highfield Fest.”

NBK Leisure were still able to attend and brought with them a rodeo sheep, surf simulator, toddler zone, giant garden games and crazy golf, and whilst it was disappointing not to have the usual giant inflatables, Harrison Hancock was able to provide bungee trampolines and a mini-Miami fairground ride, so there was still an abundance on offer for the young people arriving throughout the day.

Prudhoe Plodders attended with a team of volunteers and offered a timed obstacle course with every child being presented with a certificate at the end.  Prudhoe Plodders are a local, dedicated running club, run entirely by like-minded volunteers that want to help adults and children be more active.  As well as being very grateful for their presence at Highfield Fest, the Town Council is especially delighted that they are running the Essity Prudhoe Miners Race this year, being held on Sunday 29th September 2019.

Lesley Ineson said of the event “Highfield Fest is an amazing event.  I attended as a volunteer on the Prudhoe Plodders Obstacle Course, which was very well organised and great fun, and then had the pleasure of having a look around with my children, who absolutely loved all of the rides and the fire engine.”

John Robson aka Mister Disco was on-hand all day and facilitated the Best-Dressed Teddy Bear, lost and found and also entertained those visiting with acoustic band ‘The Whistle Testers’.  The wind hampered sound slightly so there will be a re-think next year with regards the PA and speaker system.

In special recognition of Armed Forces Day, Prudhoe Army Cadet Force and 216 Squadron, Royal Logistics Corps’ brought recruiting vehicles and helped throughout the event.  The absence of adult teams for the tug-of-war did not deter this test of strength as Cllr Chris Barrett led our younger lads and lasses in a mini-tournament; competitive team spirit is definitely alive and well in Prudhoe.

Prudhoe Youth Club Football Club have supported Highfield Fest for many years and young people look forward to testing their skills alongside family and friends.  Football coaches give a lot of their time for training and matches and the Town Council appreciate their attendance at this annual event, in addition to the time they dedicate already.

Prudhoe Co-op Foodstore were thrilled to be part of Highfield Fest which they attended for the first time, following many year’s support of the Town Council’s Christmas Lights Switch-On event.  Iain Watts, Store Manager said “The event is excellent; there cannot be many other places where families can be out in the open air, enjoying a completely free day.  Prudhoe Co-op sets itself apart from other retailers in that it is very community-driven by way of sponsorship and time, and we will certainly be back next year.”

Showing that Prudhoe Fire and Rescue are never ‘off-duty’ our retained fire fighters pleased the crowds not once but twice when they were called away.  Always exceptionally smart and wonderful role models for the young aspiring firefighters of the future, every event must have a Fire Engine.

The newly established Prudhoe Youth Project attended the event for the first time with festival make-up and said “We had a great day at Highfield Fest Family Fun Day meeting lots of young people who we hope will become part of our project and we are very grateful to Prudhoe Town Council for inviting us and putting on such a fabulous free event.”

Many parents have endured a queue for face-painting; it has become a simple fact of life, but ‘Face-painting by Julie Charlton’ is definitely worth waiting for; if you don’t believe me ask the lions, tigers, butterflies or the camouflage faces if you can find them.

What a year for the scooters at Highfield Fest.  Island Extreme/Juicy Wheels, the brainchild of young entrepreneur Blake Nash (age 21), showcased a selection of pro-riders, including Prudhoe’s home-grown talent Josh Newton (age 10), riding alongside Sam Jefferz (age 19), Callum Blake (age 19), Dane Arminger (age 19) and Harley Chamberline (age 21).

Michael Champion, father of Bobby who was placed 2nd in the 13 and under category said he hopes that the event will continue forever, adding that those involved should be very proud.

The competition had two age categories with superb prizes of scooters, bars, wheels, grips, grip tape, t-shirts, stickers and wrist bands; those placed were:

Over 13

1st Place        Alfie Shaw

2nd Place       Evan Farret

3rd Place        Elliot Askins

13 and under

1st Place        George Lowdon

2nd Place       Bobby Champion

3rd Place        Carl Yorestone

A very young rider from Darlington, Joshi Chapel (age 5), also received some great prizes and special recognition for being a truly impressive rider, especially in view of his age.

Sadly, the hip-hop and limbo couldn’t be run due to the strong wind, but the prizes set aside for this were part of a huge ‘throw-out’ at the end of the event; much to the delight of the young people who had enjoyed watching the scooter displays all day.

Cllr Tracy Gilmore has been Chair of Prudhoe Town Council since May 2018 so this is her 2nd year as Town Mayor during the event.  Cllr Gilmore described the event as a huge success and great value for money. 

“The event itself, not including staff time costs almost £4,000; this equates to an annual cost to the Prudhoe taxpayer of £1.19.  I think that is exceptional value for money and furthermore it provides the Town Council with a great opportunity to engage with the community and to promote ourselves, as well as providing that same opportunity to the amazing community groups and volunteers who support us, without whom the event wouldn’t be possible.  Many thanks to all our volunteers on stalls, with event set-up, car-parking, litter collecting, signage and flyer distribution.  We made a conscious effort to collect feedback this year and it is clear that the event is much-loved and appreciated.  Next year will be the 10th Anniversary so hopefully we can think of something to make Highfield Fest 2020 even bigger and better!”

All photographs will be posted on the event Facebook Page

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58 Front Street The Spetchells Centre Prudhoe Northumberland NE42 5AA Tel: (01661) 835487 email: info@prudhoetowncouncil.gov.uk
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