AS A Portchester councillor I always look forward to the Portchester Gala.
This year it will be held on Saturday, June 16 as usual to be held in the grounds of Portchester Castle, when hopefully the weather will be kind to us.
The Gala Parade starts at 11.00am from Wicor Primary School and progresses down White Hart Lane and Castle Street, ending at Portchester Castle.
This event is organised by the Portchester Community Association from The Hub in Portchester Precinct and brings together a number of clubs, groups and organisations with stalls in the castle grounds.
The arena events start at 12.30pm in the castle grounds and continue until 4.00pm with events including Hampshire Caledonian Pipe Band, Natasha Ballinger School of Dance, Aziz Egyptian Belly Dancing, Mamma Bee Funkey, Tenacity Band and the traditional Tug of War.
This community event brings together all of the local organisations and has a typical village fete atmosphere.
As well as the procession and arena events there is a fun fair, classic cars, army vehicles, bouncy castles, children’s activities, Trigger the Train rides, ice creams, large variety of catering options, raffle, face painting, craft fairs, local produce for sale, marching bands, in fact something for everyone.
Our local Portchester firefighters are also in prominence with the fire engine in the procession, and then in the castle grounds.
Although it is free entry to the Gala a voluntary collection is made at the entrance to the castle, which helps to fund next year’s Gala.
Without these generous donations it would always be difficult to ensure the Gala continues next year as there is no sponsor.
If anybody would like to sponsor the Gala then I am sure the Portchester Community Association would only be too pleased to hear from you.
It provides the opportunity for the individual groups to demonstrate their activities and to raise their own profile including an opportunity to raise funds for their group.