Thousands turn out for Ashfield Gala spectacular

Skegby gala. 'Steady Teddy, Emily Randall takes a donkey ride during her visit to the fun day at the Healdswood Recreation ground in Skegby on Saturday.
Skegby gala. 'Steady Teddy, Emily Randall takes a donkey ride during her visit to the fun day at the Healdswood Recreation ground in Skegby on Saturday.

The sun shone and thousands of residents turned out for an afternoon of fun at this year’s Ashfield Gala at the weekend.

Organisers at the Ashfield Activities Association said around 2,000 people came along to enjoy the event which is now in its second year and moving from strength to strength.

On Saturday 26th crowds flooded the Healdswood Recreation ground in Sutton in Ashfield armed with picnic blankets ready to set camp for what was an amazing day.

Attractions included a big cinema screen, a full craft fair with local traders, a classic car show, donkey rides, children’s rides, stalls, dog show and dance sh

Naiomi-Rebecca Mathis (33), of Skegby who organised the event with friend Heather Webster, said: “It was amazing it was very busy and it completely exceeded everybody’s expectations.

“It was a fantastic fun day for all the family and the atmosphere was lovely.

“The important thing about it was has been local mums who have organised it.

“There must have been more than two thousand people there through the day.

“We made sure everything was affordable and there was so much to do people said they couldn’t get round to doing it all.

“We had great support from local businesses.”

Free shows included a traditional Punch and Judy show, circus skills, a climbing wall and trike rides.

Other attractions at the alcohol-free spectacular, included a dog show, face-painting, dance shows, tai-chi shows for the over-60s, vintage and classic cars, a funfair, a petting zoo, donkey-rides, falconry, hot food and displays by local traders, Army cadets and marines.

The event featured the very first Ashfield Royalty With the crowning of the Gala Queen and Princesses judged by Miss Mansfield’s Miss Outstanding Teen, Ellie Rose and Ashfield District councillor Cheryl Butler.

Naomi-Rebecca added: “This event has really been taking in and the public have loved every part of it.

“The nine months of planning was worth the hard work and thousands of hours that were put in by volunteers.

“We are trying to build on this year by year. With funding cuts at lot of towns around the UK it is local community groups who are all voluntary taking charge of these types of events.

“It is crucial to have the support from the locals and local business’s to help keep them going.”

The association is also planning an all-day Christmas lights switch-on event at Stanton Hill on Saturday 5th December.

“We want to run the gala every year,” said Naiomi-Rebecca. “It is aimed at people of all ages and one of the key elements is keeping it local and keeping revenue in this area.”