Olympic theme for Petworth fête is a non-starter

ORGANISERS of the Petworth Fete In the Park have branded strict guidelines blocking them from using the phrase Olympic in its festivities as ‘absurd’.

The charity event has been forced to make an 11th-hour change to its cake competition, which can now only be referred to as the ‘sporty cake’ for the day, on Saturday, July 14.

With the Olympic torch passing through on the Monday, the event had offered a gesture of goodwill in leaving up its marquees and other equipment, as an expected 1,500 children from schools across the area mark the flame’s arrival.

Tony Sneller, one of the fete organisers, expressed his disappointment over the situation of promoting the event, but believed it would still be a big success.

“The word for this is just absurd that we can’t use Olympics in our celebrations for the cake competition,” said the organiser in frustration at the corporate guidelines dominating the Olympic proceedings.

“But it seemed the closer we looked at this before the event, it was clear we wouldn’t be able to do so.

“But the event is still very much on and I would encourage people to take part in the sporty cake competition.” He added: “We will be having jazz-playing stilt walkers, a brilliant magician called the Gully Gully Man and of course the Petworth Town Band.

“The Ditchling Morris will be dancing as will Petworth Primary School country dancers. The day will round off with a free concert by the Congolese band Kasai Masai.

“The budget for the day is just over £5,000, with £3,000 of that being on entertainment and we are grateful to the businesses, and others, not least Petworth Town Council, which have already contributed over £3,000. We are looking to fully cover the costs by income and donations on the day.

“The grand draw is in aid of St Wilfrid’s Hospice, and many other charities and groups will be using the day to raise funds.”