Free festival fun at annual gala event

Photographs of The Ashfield Gala Day 2015
Photographs of The Ashfield Gala Day 2015

Thousands of residents are expected to attend a free festival of activities, live music and food at the annualAshfield Gala.

Fairground and donkey rides, a climbing wall, car show, dog show, craft fair, petting zoo, cooking classes and more are among the attractions set for will be on offer at Healdswood recreation ground, Skegby, on Saturday, September 23, from 12noon to 6pm.

Little Mix, Take That and the Blues Brothers will even be in attendance in the form of tribute bands alongside local artists.

It will be the fourth year the annual event has run.

It was set up to re-create the atmosphere of the former Ashfield Show after it was scrapped in 2009 due to funding cuts.

Ashfield District Council ran the show for 30 years before budget cuts forced them to pull their funding to spend on front-line services.

The event is now organised by the Ashfield Activities Association which was founded by three Skegby mums who wanted to reignite the community spirit of the event.

Naomi Mathis, one of the AAA founding trio, said she and the other mums had been going to Ashfield Show for 15 years before it was cancelled, and they started to travel to other places for similar family events.

She said: “We thought ‘what a shame we didn’t have anything like this anymore’ ,so we decided to make a free family day out to celebrate what we love about our community.”

In previous years the event has raised money for cadets, ambulances in Africa, Sure Start children’s centre and family charity Home Start.

This year it will be supporting Help for Heroes and the Retired Greyhounds Trust.

Ms Mathis said: “It’s a great community effort, helping put a little back in to what’s important to us as a community while having fun doing it.

“If everyone can help by attending and playing a game or taking part in an activity, that little participation combined with many becomes something big and can help change lives.”

The festivities will run from 12 noon to 6pm on September 23.