Uncertain future for Petworth’s Fete in the Park

Dancing in Petworth Park - Ditchling Morris perform at a past fete
Dancing in Petworth Park - Ditchling Morris perform at a past fete

Uncertainty hangs over the popular annual Petworth Fete in the Park after it was announced it will not be held this year.

Making the announcement at Petworth Town Council’s annual town meeting on Wednesday (April 27) on behalf of the Petworth and District Community Association (PDCA) John Riddell said a date had been pencilled in for July 8 next year.

But he warned: “to make this happen we need fresh involvement, a new team with new ideas.”

A popular fixture on the Petworth calendar in July for the last decade, it was clear last year the future of the fete hung in the balance when chairman of the PDCA Tony Sneller told the Observer after the tenth anniversary: “The association is taking this landmark year to review whether we should continue to put on this event.”

More than 3000 people flocked through the gates of Petworth Park last July to enjoy one of the most successful of the annual Fetes in the Park so far.

But Mr Sneller said it all came at a price to the small band who made it all possible.

“As those ten years have passed, so those involved in planning this event have grown ten years older - and at times stiffer and more puffed out.”

He added: “We are not sure if the current team can continue for many more years without some new blood to help us and begin to take over the reins.”

The tenth year was celebrated last July 11 with a music theme and a free concert in the evening.

There are currently four members of the original group, Janet Duncton, Neil Castle, John Riddell and Tony Sneller but they have been joined by other helpers over the years.

Mr Sneller said: “No event should be run for ever just because it has been run before, but it would be sad if this popular event stopped because of lack of support.”

Anyone who would like to be involved and help the Petworth Fete in the Park return next year should contact the organisers at Petworth and District Community Association on

feteinthepark@gmail.com

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