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Sun shines on Port Sunlight Village Festival

25th September 2013

Categories: News

Visitors enjoy Port Sunlight Village Festival

From Wirral News

Port Sunlight Village Trust held one of the biggest events in its history at the weekend, celebrating 125 years of the village.

The Port Sunlight festival celebrations combined the summer festival, the winter food fair, Unilever’s 125th anniversary of manufacturing and its Founder’s Day ceremony.

An estimated 40,000 people attended the event on September 21-22, which was sponsored by Unilever’s PG Tips.

More than 100 regional food and craft displays, vintage stalls, children’s rides, a dog show, garden awards and live music were the main elements at the festival.

Lionel Bolland, chief executive of the trust, said: “We’ve had a great weekend. The emphasis on the vintage stores and traditional rides really set the tone of what Founder’s Day is all about. All our volunteers work very hard and it pays off to see everyone enjoying themselves.”

This year’s festival kept to the theme of tradition by restoring an Edwardian helter-skelter and providing Edwardian street theatre entertainment and carousel rides.

Live performances from Adagio Theatre School, Complete Works Dance Group, Port Sunlight Brass Bands and many others over the weekend helped entertain the village’s guests.

Car enthusiasts got to explore two distinctive displays, the American Auto Club NW on Saturday and Thame Valley Classic Cars on Sunday.

The free fun dog show on Sunday, supported by the Family Housing Association, had a wide variety of breeds taking part in the competitions. Prizes were for the most handsome dog, prettiest bitch, best veteran, cutest puppy, look-alike dog and owner, best six legs, fancy dress and dogs the judges would most like to take home.

Katherine Lynch, manager of Port Sunlight Museum, said the festival was a great showcase for local talent and festivities and hopes each year raises awareness of the village.

She added: “We’re very keen to be regarded as much more than just a visitor attraction as part of our future growth.”

This year the festival was sponsored by: Knorr, the Family Housing Association, Wirral Animal Feeds, Port Sunlight Garden Centre and Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (MRWA) which attended to highlight its waste reduction work, in particular the Love Food Hate Waste campaign. Cllr Graham Morgan, chairman of MRWA, said: “We’re really happy to sponsor the event this year.

“Food waste is a huge issue – it’s the biggest item that makes up what’s in a household bin at 28%. People are sometimes surprised when they’re told how much money they could save by smarter food shopping – who wouldn’t want to save up to £50 a month?

“And as well as the financial and health benefits, this drive on food waste also means less material going to landfill, which is better for all of us.”

The 125th anniversary celebrations began back in February when the doors to Port Sunlight Museum reopened after a two-month closure for refurbishment.

Despite the improvements it has managed to hold admission prices for another year and have added the charity Gift Aid to their tickets.

The village welcomes approximately 300,000 visitors each year and is home to more than 2,000 residents. For more information visit www.portsunlightvillage.com.

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