Stone Festival 2017 – it’s almost here!

After many months of planning, plenty of sweat, and the occasional head scratching, Stone Festival is virtually upon us with our first event, the mighty Soapbox Race, taking place down Stone High Street, on Bank Holiday Monday 29th May from 3pm (Racing starts at 4pm) and then the rest of the events take place between Saturday 3rd June, through to Sunday 11th June.

In the centre of this months Gazette you will find your pull out and keep Official Stone Festival Programme, which is packed with details of everything that is taking place this year, and what a year it is destined to be!

The Committee has tried to focus long and hard on great quality not quantity of events this year. We have had a marvellous response from local businesses in getting involved which is wonderful and their help and assistance is very much appreciated in us being able to put on as varied a programme as possible and bring some really memorable events to the Town.

We have some new events this year which are really setting tongues wagging across all areas of our community such as the new FootiGolf  which is a cross between Football and Golf, a great way to try a new skill for sure. In addition to this we have Country pastimes back in the shape of the Ramblers Walk, the Fishing Competition and the Clay Pigeon Shooting Competition. For those of you who prefer something a little more indoors and sedate, why not have a go at the Darts competition or the Pig Race? Couple these with the traditional events like Raft race, Car Boot Sale, Dog Show and Steeplechase, 3 Great Music Shows, Two Wheel Tuesday, A Night of Mediumship, Historical and Brewery Tours, and you can see that we all have a week of great fun ahead of us.

If you are still hankering after giving the Soapbox Race a go, we still have a couple of spaces left so why not drop me an email at grahame@octavarium.co.uk for an entry form – It would be great to have a full start sheet for Gordon Banks and the other judges to feast their eyes on.

Carnival Day will again be a culmination of all the events in the week and in answer to many local peoples requests, we as a Committee have looked long and hard at the possibility of moving the Parade back down the High Street again rather than its current route of Christchurch Way. This we believe would give the Parade and the Town a great boost and allow it to retrace its steps of yesteryear however the current set up of a traffic island at the bottom of the High Street just does not allow the vehicles to turn right and along Stafford St. This is a great shame however, and rest assured we will work with the authorities in trying to see if there is a way around this for 2018.

This year has seen our list of normal events swell, and such is the fame of Stone Festival Week, that news has reached the far flung chambers of Westminster, and we now have an Election too in the middle of Festival Week!

On a serious note however despite all of the great news and excitement in this programme, we still have opportunities for people to get involved if you can spare some time to join in the fun. The Festival Committee look forward to seeing you all at as many of the events as possible, and for more information, why not pop down and see us at the May Farmers Market or visit our website  at www.stonefestival.co.uk for more details.

Grahame Neagus Vice Chairman of Stone Festival