THE COUNTDOWN is on to the first-ever Ashfield Festival — a free one-day extravaganza with a sporting theme to capitalise on excitement surrounding the upcoming London Olympics.
The event, which replaces the former Ashfield Show, should attract thousands of revellers from Hucknall and the rest of the district to the Sutton Lawn pleasure grounds in Sutton-in-Ashfield on Saturday July 7.
Now, organiser Ashfield District Council has announced it has secured two well-known companies to become the main sponsors of the community attraction.
They are Specsavers, which has a branch on Hucknall High Street, and the Idlewells Shopping Centre in Sutton.
Specsavers will man a stand at the festival, offering eye-screening and wellbeing tests, while Idlewells will sponsor the main stage.
Now locals are being encouraged to throw their support behind the event by turning out in their droves.
The festival will feature a mix of entertainment and sport, including many favourites from the former Ashfield Show, such as horticultural competitions and live music from local bands and soloists.
New features planned include performance areas with family acts throughout the day, a sports and health zone with sporting activities, a dance zone and a funfair.
An ‘It’s A Knockout’ competition will provide a throwback to the 1970s TV show of the same name, while the Active Ashfield Games and Ashfield’s Gotta Dance contest will reach their finales at the festival.
Xtreme sports, including BMX-riding and skateboarding, will also feature (SEE PAGE 33), as well as athletics, football, skating and angling.
The closing ceremony of the Active Ashfield Games will include the Ashfield Beacon Circuit (Ashfield’s answer to the Olympic torch-relay) and medal presentations by a special sporting guest, whose identity will be revealed soon.
A council spokesman said: “The Ashfield Festival will be a focal celebration for the people of Ashfield, giving a chance for the district to feel that, although not in London, they are a part of the Olympic Games.”
Previously, Ashfield Show was staged over two days but was hit by financial problems.
It was later reduced to one day and has now been replaced by the festival.