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Date: Tuesday, 21 June 2011
Press and Media Manager
Tel: 01843 577 034
Fax: 01843 295 343
THOUSANDS ENJOY MARGATE'S BIG EVENT
In its brand new location on Margate seafront, a massive 80,000 people are estimated to have joined in the fun at Margate's Big Event this Father's Day weekend (Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 June).
Despite changeable weather, which at times turned torrential, the crowds remained in excellent spirit and were treated to two action packed days of thrilling air displays overhead with an array of traditional seaside fun on the ground.
In the skies the last remaining airborne Vulcan, the world famous Red Arrows and the nostalgic Battle of Britain Memorial Flight were a highlight for the crowds. Despite the weather the flying programme remained largely unscathed, with only the Tigers unable to carry out their Saturday parachute jump as planned. They returned to big cheers from the crowd on Sunday however, as four of the team braved the rain and landed dramatically in the sea!
Complementing all of the airborne action was a variety of activity on the ground which included live music and DJ's, with the popular Hullabaloo performing during the rain, fairground rides with white knuckle rides, Punch and Judy and a grand firework finale on Saturday. For those wanting to be more hands on, the Airfix tent gave children of all ages the chance to build their own model aircraft. A full programme of sports activities and challenges were held on the beach and for the very daring the annual Raft Race took place on Sunday in very choppy waters!
Held in a brand new seafront location, visitors were also able to take advantage of the many cafes, bars, restaurants, art galleries and boutique shops that Margate's Old Town has to offer and of course had major art gallery Turner Contemporary very close to hand.
Leader of the Council, Cllr. Bob Bayford, said: “What a fantastic event! It was wonderful to see so many people turn out over the weekend braving the elements and was a great example of true British spirit! We had thousands of people in Margate, many from all over the South East, and many of those visiting for the first time. From our point of view the new location worked brilliantly and helped to showcase exactly what Margate, the original seaside, has to offer. We know from speaking with local businesses that hosting the event on the seafront had a positive impact, which is exactly what we hoped to achieve. I'd like to thank everyone who worked so hard to pull off what was another great `big event', to our sponsors Hornby for their help and support and most of all to thank everyone who came along to enjoy it”.
Darrell Burge, Marketing Manager for Airfix, said: "It was tremendous to be involved as the main sponsor of this year's show. We had almost 1,000 families come through our make-and-paint area of the marquee experiencing the joys of Airfix modelling, and our staff were run ragged by the sheer volume of people. Everyone though, both the public and staff from Hornby, had great smiles on their faces with some of the fantastic creations built during the weekend. It was brilliantly rewarding for all of us and we look forward to being back in 2012."
Local people who attended this year's event are being encouraged to take part in a short survey to tell us what they thought of the event. The survey can be completed online by visiting www.thanet.gov.uk or a hard copy can be picked up in any local library. To request a copy call 01843 577120 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org