Excitement as BilliFest is back home

The BilliFest 2016 organising committee make the High Street announcement, back, from left, Owen Davies, Barry Barnes, Ken Johnson, Tony Priestley, June Perks and Patrick Perks, front from left, Helen Abbott, Sandy Duck, Linda Nicholl and Martin Spurrier
The BilliFest 2016 organising committee make the High Street announcement, back, from left, Owen Davies, Barry Barnes, Ken Johnson, Tony Priestley, June Perks and Patrick Perks, front from left, Helen Abbott, Sandy Duck, Linda Nicholl and Martin Spurrier

BilliFest is returning the High Street after nearly ten years.

Announcing the news, Ken Johnson, chairman of Billingshurst Community Partnership’s organising committee, said: “On December 3, Billingshurst High Street will be home for our BilliFest family fun day and Christmas fayre.

John Griffin, vice-chairman of Billingshurst Community Partnership, with the ten poster competition winners

John Griffin, vice-chairman of Billingshurst Community Partnership, with the ten poster competition winners

“This is great news and the move is fully supported by our High Street retailers, whose shopfronts face the street, so they too can become very much involved in the festivities.”

Since BilliFest will not now be in Jengers Mead, it means that the Jengers Mead car park will be open as usual for parking.

BilliFest attracts more than 1,500 people and this year will kick off at 10am and run until 3pm, with stalls in more than 40 gazebos running from Sainsbury’s to Jengers Mead.

Ken said: “Last year, we introduced individual gazebos for each stallholder and this was a great success. It added to the carnival feeling of the show and gave each of the stallholders more space to display their goods. It will be the perfect place to buy Christmas presents.

“BilliFest would not be BilliFest without lots of family entertainment and the annual raffle, thanks to local donors. We are also indebted to out sponsors.”

Ten brilliant young artists from Billingshurst Primary School won prizes in this year’s BilliFest poster competition.

The standard was so high that the judges made nine awards in addition to the winner.

John Griffin, vice-chairman of Billingshurst Community Partnership, said: “The poster entries from our local children were really outstanding so we announced three runners up, plus six special award winners. Each child won a prize from the partnership, with the top four receiving gift tokens.”

The winning illustration is featured on the BilliFest poster and the front of the event programme.

The entries were judged by local artist and potter Terry Griffin and all the works will be on display at BilliFest.

At the prizegiving, Mr Griffin said: “The entertainment will be non-stop and Radio Weald, which is run by Weald School students, will again be handling our music and public address.”

Entertainment includes George on Sax, Lifestyle Fitness join-in sessions, Billingshurst Choral Society, Billingshurst Ukulele Band, Cotillion Sussex folk group, Horsham Boom Tribe Samba Band, Horsham Magog Dancers, David Bowie tribute Stephen Foster, Rob Nicholl swings, and Punch and Judy.

Santa’s grotto will be at Henry Adams estate agent in High Street and Mr Griffin stressed the grotto is free, as always, and every visiting child receives a gift.

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