LISTENING to the live music and scanning the numerous people basking in the sunshine on the grassy banks, it’s clear why so many people hold Stokes Bay dear to their hearts.
And thousands took advantage of the stunning beauty spot this weekend, hitting its banks to enjoy a host of shows from local dance groups and Gosport’s Got Talent, to Big Brother Soul.
There were also performances from the Big Noise Samba band, a Queen tribute band, Killer Queen, at the Grand Finale of Celebrate! Gosport, and the evening ended with an impressive firework display.
Gosport’s Mayor Councillor Christopher R Carter and his wife Mayoress Julia Carter were at the event and took part in some of the family races.
The Mayor said: ‘There is a real community spirit in Gosport, everyone supports each other and enjoys getting all their families together which is exactly what happened at this event.
‘It shows just how well the area is supported by the community and is a chance celebrate the wonderful history we have here at some of the most valuable landmarks in the area.’
The event, run by Gosport Borough Council, marked the end of a two-week programme aimed at helping residents discover the wonders on their own doorstep.
One of the organisers, Nigel Draycott, cultural services officer at the council, said: ‘With the current economic downturn we wanted to remind people that there is lots for them to do in and around Gosport without having to travel anywhere.
‘And nearly all of the acts that we booked were local because we wanted to show off just how much talent there is here and let it shine.
‘Gosport really is a brilliant place and the people here know how to party so we thought we should throw them a party to celebrate how much we love the town.’
One lady was so excited about the event that she decided to bring her 60th birthday party to the field, along with her guests, buffet food and drink, tables and chairs and a marquee.
Birthday girl Julie Edwards, of Ellachie Road, said: ‘I wanted to have a party down at Stokes Bay and when they announced this I thought it would be perfect.
‘What’s the point of living in Gosport if you don’t make the most of the fantastic amenities we have here? It’s just fabulous.’
Over the two weeks, Celebrate! Gosport also brought a host of historic walks, tours, exhibitions and shows, including Gosport’s Big Day Out and the Sultan Show.