Alton’s Public Gardens were buzzing on Saturday for the Alton Lions 11th annual Party in the Park, to raise funds of the disabled young people of Treloar School and College and to enable other local charitable organisations to raise funds and profile for their own worthwhile causes. This year’s theme for the Party in the Park was ‘Super Heroes’, and not just the comic characters, but with our own local heroes, including First Responders, Blood Runners, Fire & Rescue, Police and Nurses.
The event provides a free to enter family fun day and this year was compered by local councillor and businessman, Dean Phillips, suitably dressed as ‘Superman’, who introduced a lively programme of entertainment, kicked off by the highly accomplished Alton College Jazz Band, and followed by songs from the shows, courtesy of the talented youngsters of Strictly Showtime. Next to demonstrate their skills were the children from Alton Infant School who, dressed as Super Heroes, performed some lively country dances before taking part in the Parade of Super Heroes, led in a conga by Alton Town Crier, Stan Whitcher, and directed by Superman Cllr Phillips. The stage was then set for the exuberant and poplar local trio who are ‘Tripwire’ providing their range of popular and rock music.
in the meantime there was children’s entertainment courtesy of Dave the Balloon man, stilt-walker Sir Lupin of Pipwithers, Punch and Judy with Prof Peter Dan, a ride-on steam engine driven by owner, Steve Cook, a Super Heroes bouncy castle, an opportunity to score a goal, throw wet sponges at folk in the stocks or hit a golf ball offered by Alton College, a chance to guide a model train around a track, thanks to Alton Model Railway Group, and much more.
There were refreshments available and a host of stalls offering games, raffles, craftwork and have-a-go activities, including rock painting.
The official welcome, at midday, when ‘Elvis’ (Dave Hurrell) – Super Hero from the world of Rock’n Roll, arrived aboard a pink Cadillac, owned and driven by Tony Vincent, and accompanied by Alton Town Mayor, Cllr Derek Gardner, and Lady Mayoress, Cathy Gardner.
They were joined for the occasion by the Town Crier, Alton Lions Past President Peter Bacon, and some more modern-day Super Heroes from SERV Wessex Blood Runners, SCAS First Responders, a nurse from Anstey Ward at Alton Community Hospital, Jon Colville from the Treloar Trust and, stepping up from the annals of history, UK treasure, celebrated local novelist, Jane Austen (aka Pat Lerew).
Also, in the Gardens, but called out at that time to attend a fire in Bordon, were firefighters from Alton who came with their fire engine, and four police officers from Alton with a patrol vehicle. They were accompanied by Women Lions dressed as Suffragettes, plus a number of comic book Super Heroes and, of course, the Lion!
Refreshments throughout the day were provided by the Lions burger bar, and the tea and beer tent manned by staff and supporters from Treloar’s.
Alton Lions have expressed grateful thanks to all those who helped and turned out to support the event.