East Preston’s annual festival makes its comeback after two years

After being postponed for two years due to Covid-9 restrictions, the East Preston Festival is finally back on.

The 10-day festival is making its comeback from Friday, June 3, to Sunday, June 12, with nearly 80 events and activities planned for everyone to enjoy.

People can browse the craft fair, bring their valuables to the antiques valuation morning, visit the East Preston Floral Club’s flower show, see the winning scarecrows on the scarecrow tour, take the Open Gardens and Art Trail and go continental at Le Café Français.

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As well as the traditional favourites, including two tribute nights, new events include a ‘street’ market on the village green, a circus family fun day, kite flying, a soccer skills day and a fun run.

East Preston village pre-school shown at one of the previous festivals

Also, on May 25, a special assembly will be held where children from the East Preston Junior School will be elected to take part in the festival parade on Saturday, June 11, as festival ambassadors, where the theme is a ‘Reign to Remember’.

People can expect to see floats, bands and walking groups.

The committee are again looking forward to seeing many scarecrows this year representing the festival theme.

To enter the competition, people should complete a form and then make their own scarecrow and display it in their front garden.

Joint second prize scarecrow ' Pinocchio' from an East Preston festival

Judging will begin on Thursday, June 2, and there will be a first prize of £25, with £15 for the runner-up.

From the May 27 to June 6, the children of East Preston can enter a competition to find the corgi picture in each of 20 shop windows along Sea Road.

The prize will be a art set. Entry forms for these competitions are available at Buds ‘n’ Blooms, Kerry’s Coffee and Deli Shop and Seaview Stores.

Janine Nicholson, chair of the East Preston Festival, said: “The committee have put together a programme of nearly 80 events and activities for this year with something to entertain, amuse or interest everyone, including events to join in with the national celebrations for the anniversary of our Queen’s record-breaking 70-year reign.

A young girl with her face painted as a tiger

“There will also be many smaller events organised by individuals, local charities and social groups and some fundraising for the first time in two years.”

The festival runs over the Queen’s Platinum Jubliee weekend so organisers have arranged a celebratory Jubilee big lunch on Sunday, June 5, where people can bring their own picnic and share friendship, food and fun while listening to live music.

Also, as part of the 2022 festival celebrations, East Preston will be burying its own time capsule containing a collection of items that represent village life in this special Jubilee year.

People can email the committee and let them know what they think should be placed in the capsule and the best suggestions will be included.

Punch and Judy from a previous East Preston festival

The capsule will be filled on Sunday, June 12, at approximately 6.30pm.

Janine added: “Our intention is that after the disappointment and restrictions of the last two summers, East Preston residents and our visitors from surrounding areas will be able enjoy a successful festival, raising thousands of pounds for a wide range of good causes and, of course, having fun and bringing our community together again.”

Many other fund-raising events are organised under the umbrella of the festival to raise money and awareness of individual or group causes, or to support their favourite charities.

These include the Baytree Lunch Club Coffee Morning, Cuppa & Cakes, organised by the Catholic Church for St Barnabas House Hospice, a Jazz band at Green Willow’s summer fete for the Residents’ Amenity Fund and Pimms and Music in the Garden for Chestnut Tree House Children’s Hospice, and the festival’s fun dog show on Sunday, June 12.

There is also a photo competition this year with the subject being ‘Royal Mail’. Entries can be anything associated with the theme, for example, post boxes, postmen and women, vans, carts, parcels, or perhaps something more imaginative.

There will be cash prizes donated by Kamsons Pharmacy for first, second and an under 116 category.

East Preston villagers in the festival parade from previous years

To enter the photo competition, email your photo to [email protected] by Friday, May 27.

The committee has also invited East Preston shops to join in the festivities by decorating their window to reflect the festival theme.

The festival is also holding a Festival Grand Prize Draw with a chance of winning a first prize of £250 cash or one of seven other fantastic prizes including a hamper from Fortnum & Masons, free service at Hares Garage and a wine tour and tasting.

Tickets will be on sale at events throughout the festival and the lead up to it.

The draw at the final event will be at the dog show on the Village Green, on Sunday, June 11.

There will also be a charity work-out with the donations going to Safe in Sussex and an event organised by ‘East Preston for Ukraine’ with proceeds going to the Disaster Emergency Committee.

Programmes giving full details of all events, activities and competitions are available from East Preston shops and people can find the latest news on the festival facebook page and website.

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The Scouts band playing in a past East Preston festival