Portchester Gala Parade

PARADERS and spectators braved the unseasonable weather to once again turn the streets of Portchester into a vibrant cocktail of music and colour.

Saturday, 15th June 2019, 6:41 pm
Updated Monday, 17th June 2019, 4:28 pm
Portchester Gala gets a Royal approval. Picture: Vernon Nash (150619-051)

The annual Portchester Gala Parade saw a precession of bands, dancers, classic cars and themed floats representing classics such as the Jungle Book and Mary Poppins make their way from Wicor Primary School to Portchester Castle.

Leading the dancing were Waterlooville dance group, FitnFunkey.

Lead dancer, Steph Fleet, said: ‘We were asked to come and perform as part of the parade and everyone who took part has had a great time. FitnFunkey is there for people of all different ages, shapes and sizes.’

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Portchester Gala gets a Royal approval. Picture: Vernon Nash (150619-051)

The parade also involved a number of children with representatives from local schools, the army and navy cadets and cub and scout groups.

Twins Liam and Ewan Cowdery, both 12, took part in the parade as part of the 2nd Portchester Scout Group.

Liam said: ‘It was really fun to be part of the parade and to see so many people turn out to support the event.’

Ewan added: ‘The parade really brought the community together and it would be great to do it again next year.’

The carnival parade processes through the streets of Portchester to Portchester Castle. Picture: Vernon Nash (150619-048)

The Royal family even made a guest appearance with impersonators of the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh journeying to Portchester Castle courtesy of a 1961 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud.

Car owner, Adrian Hellier, said: ‘I have brought the car down to the parade for the last four years. It’s quite unusual to have parades today but it’s such a great event.’

Portchester Castle also played host to a funfair, dog show, stilt walking school and a wide array of music, stalls and food outlets.

Organiser, Paula-May Houghton Clarke, commented: ‘It’s a real community event which brings many different local organisations together.’

Portchester Gala Parade belly dancers. Picture: Vernon Nash (150619-047)

It’s a sentiment shared by reverend Ian Meridith, whose St Mary’s Church help to host the event.

Reverend Meridith said: ‘There are three days when Portchester really comes together - Christmas, Remembrance Sunday and today, the Portchester Gala.

The event was also used to raise money for charities including Christian Aid and Portchester Community Association.

Paula said: ‘We are looking to raise money to support local groups and clubs as well as the Christmas tree lights.’      

Portchester Gala - children dressed in character from Mary Poppins. Picture: Vernon Nash (150619-042)
Dance group, FitnFunkey join the parade. Picture: Vernon Nash (150619-033)