Something for all the family to enjoy at Drakefest

Rembrandt entertains the crowds at Drakefest on Friday evening.' Picture: Sarah Standing (141978-5693)
Rembrandt entertains the crowds at Drakefest on Friday evening.' Picture: Sarah Standing (141978-5693)
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LIVE music, belly dancing, a kid’s corner and stalls all made up another successful pub fundraising festival.

The annual Drakefest took place this weekend and this year was raising money for six different charities.

It was also a celebration to mark the 20th anniversary of landlords Simon and Karen Hughes running The Admiral Drake, in Kingston Crescent, Portsmouth.

Karen said: ‘It’s been a great weekend and a double celebration.

‘It’s our annual fundraiser and we have chosen six causes to donate to.

‘And it was also a chance for Simon and I to celebrate 20 years of being here.

‘The weekend was brilliant – as ever, people have been generous in coming to support us, and there’s been a variety of entertainment.’

The event, which has raised more than £78,000 for charities since it began in 2008, will saw 20 bands perform live music.

As reported in The News, the event began after popular Admiral Drake regular Mandy Sharpe-Williams was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007.

She wanted to do something positive and so started a small fundraising event at the pub.

Although she died in December 2009, her legacy lives on as each year Drakefest has grown in popularity.

And this year a kid’s corner with face painting and a bouncy castle was there.

Karen added: ‘We always donate to Macmillan Cancer Support, and to Breast Cancer Care for Mandy.

‘Then we pick four other local charities, as it’s all about doing something for the community.’

Money will also be donated to Hannah’s Holiday Home Appeal, Sam’s Haven, The Patey Day Centre in Cosham, and the Alzheimer’s Society.

Regular festival-goer Kayleigh Robens, 23, of Fulmer Walk, in Waterlooville, was there with her family.

She said: ‘I come every year and think it’s brilliant.

‘I especially like the hand-crafted jewellery stall and the live music.

‘It has a great feel and atmosphere and you also raise money for good causes.’

And her mother Tish Mundy, 43, of Linden Grove, Gosport, had known Mandy.

She said: ‘I met Mandy a few times and she was known as “mad Mandy”.

‘She used to have a massive smile all the time, and I think she would be pleased to see how this festival has carried on in her memory.

‘All the organisers are great and the music has been brilliant too.’