Gone for years – now The Southsea Show is back

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IT was an action-packed event that attracted thousands of families.

Now The Southsea Show is back and organisers have vowed to make it a roaring success.

GLEAMING Favourite, a 1912 steam engine owned by Mike Hillary from Bishops Waltham, comes into the main arena in 2006

GLEAMING Favourite, a 1912 steam engine owned by Mike Hillary from Bishops Waltham, comes into the main arena in 2006

The event on Southsea Common will have gardening demonstrations and competitions, stalls, carousel and bumper cars, a petting zoo and sport activities.

Other highlights will include children’s storytelling, a dog show, a cider bus and a milkshake wagon.

Buskers will entertain guests in the Market Marquee and you can relax in a giant tea tent. There will be a beer tent and real ale bar and folk, bluegrass, country and roots music will be played.

Cover bands will perform on a stage for Tom Prince Cancer Trust.

The event, which will be held on August 3 and 4, used to be organised by Martin Dodd on behalf of Portsmouth City Council.

The first one was held in 1990 and it was scrapped in 2007 due to falling visitor numbers and rising costs.

Now a committee has come together to get it going again.

It is also being backed by the council and local businesses.

Steve Pitt, chairman of the committee and programme director for The Cellars at Eastney, said: ‘It shouldn’t have gone away.

‘Portsmouth doesn’t shout enough about how much it has culturally. We wanted to showcase a cultural event on the seafront at the height of the summer.’

Committee member Julian Kemp said: ‘We all felt it was a great idea. We felt there was a need for a family show which people can bring their kids to.’

A carnival procession on the Sunday will feature The New Carnival Company, which performed at the Paralympics, local carnival artists, bands and participants in costumes made in workshops.

Cirque Bijou, which helped launch the 2012 Olympics and toured with Take That, will then perform.

The show is due to be launched at 10.30am today at Mozzarella Joes, Southsea. Tickets cost £8 for adults and £6 for under-16s, over-65s and Portsmouth leisure card holders.

A ticket for a family of four costs £24. Gates open each day at 10am.

Tickets are available from Portsmouth Guildhall on (023) 9282 4355 or portsmouthguildhall.org.uk