VISITORS are in for a fun-packed weekend with the best of local produce and a dragon boat race.
Shops across Emsworth will offer discounts on Saturday, August 16 when the Hampshire Farmers’ Market goes to the South Street car park.
It will be a foodies’ delight with all the stalls selling produce from within a few miles of the Hampshire border.
Pubs and restaurants will be offering discounts.
And on Sunday, August 17 the dragon boat race will return to the Mill Pond after a two-year break with 10 teams competing for the honour of being first.
The race, sponsored by Fat Face, was an annual event in the Emsworth social calendar until 2004 when some teams were disqualified for being drunk and went on to hurl the organiser into the water, destroying his microphone.
It was revived a few years ago but was cancelled in 2012 because the Environment Agency drained the Mill Pond – without warning the organisers – so nearby homes did not flood during heavy rain.
But it did not fill up again in time for the race and it had to be called off.
And last year the weather was too bad to go out on the water.
Giles Babb, landlord of The Blue Bell Inn and chairman of the Emsworth Business Association, said: ‘I’m so pleased we’ve managed to bringthis colourful event back as part of Emsworth’s Big Weekend.
‘It creates a great atmosphere on our unique waterside setting.
‘And there’s lots going on at the farmers’ market which is a real draw.
‘It’s a chance for people to enjoy some good produce and make the most of the discounts at the shops around the town.’
The market will run from 10am to 2pm on Saturday.
Racing starts at 10am on Sunday. All money raised will go to the charity The Wheely Boat Trust.
There is still time to enter a team.
To find out more about Emsworth’s Big Weekend go to the updated business association’s website at emsworth.org.uk