THOUSANDS of disabled youngsters got an entire fairground to themselves for a magical night at HMS Sultan.
The event kicked off the annual HMS Sultan Summer Show which will see 25,000 people descend on Gosport’s Royal Navy training establishment this weekend.
Families from across the area were invited to enjoy the last few hours of glorious sunshine at the party last night which saw sailors dress up as pirates, Gosport’s Tigers children’s motorcycle club entertain in the arena, and free fairground rides.
Captain Trevor Gulley, Commander of HMS Sultan, said: ‘It’s a fantastic event.
‘On Thursday we had a charities reception which raised over £2,000.
‘Friday night is all about disadvantaged and disabled children. We had about 2,000 on site.
It’s a really great event, the children love it
‘With the help of Peter Burnett, who runs the funfair, the fairground was opened for free for the kids and they had a whale of a time here.
‘My staff were running around in pirate rig.
‘They really integrate with the kids and have a fantastic evening.’
Organisations as diverse as the Chernobyl Childrens Lifeline and Shine were given tickets to the preview show.
Barry Tree, from Stanley Street, Southsea, accompanied his 11-year-old son Aaron.
Mr Tree said: ‘It’s a really great event, the children love it.
‘It’s our third year. It’s especially good fun when the sun is shining.’
Martin and Louise Mant, from Southsea, took along their daughters Olivia, 11, and Evie, 14.
Louise said: ‘It’s the first time we’ve been able to make it and it’s absolutely lovely. We were really impressed by the stewards who are all really friendly. The access is great.
‘For us it’s also a chance to mix with lots of other families with disabled children so nobody stares and looks at the children.’
The HMS Sultan Summer Show will include a variety of different acts – from high-adrenaline motorcycle display teams and The Devil’s Horseman, through to the more traditional steam fayre and The Festival Circus.
The gates open this weekend at 10am and tickets cost £20 for two adults and two children.
For more information, or to buy tickets, go to bit.ly/1Rha53j.
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