Thousands of people poured through the gates to experience a hatful of new hands-on events as Hartpury hosted its biggest ever Summer Fair.
With more on offer than ever before, including a brand new activity zone and food and drink marquee, more than 5000 people streamed on to the campus to experience hundreds of different activities at the fantastic, free event on Saturday (June 6th).
And the sun shone as more than £1500 was raised for Hartpury’s chosen charity, Midlands Air Ambulance, who bought their ‘helibounce’ along with children jumping at the chance to bounce around.
That figure included generous donations from exhibitors as sales, particularly of Lovington’s ice cream, went through the roof. The figure is almost double what was raised last year and was no doubt helped by the new and extremely popular activity zone, as well as the increased contributions from the public.
With free entry for everyone, even the family dog, the Summer Fair proved an unmissable day out. For the first time ever, the fair had a food and drink tent, with Severn Cider and Tubby Tom’s Sauces providing the best of local produce.
Colin’s Crazy Critters show also proved a popular new addition with visitors having a go at snake handling and the chance to get hands on with lots of other reptiles, while new attractions ‘Last Man Standing’, the giant inflatable slide and bungee run were also big hits.
The children loved trying their hand at circus skills, meeting Elsa from the hit Disney movie Frozen and Gloucester City’s Roary the tiger as well as a host of sporting activities, while a fire thrower amazed the crowds alongside an action-packed arena programme.
This included a dog agility exhibition, an equine display, sporting skills and vintage tractors. In the indoor arena, there was a series of Equine exhibitions and displays while the equine therapy centre demos gave visitors an insight into the college’s exciting equine rehabilitation facilities.
Away from the main arena, Hartpury’s home farm and animal collection gave visitors a chance to explore even further. The walled garden’s animal collection, including meerkats and prairie dogs, went down a storm, as did the opportunity to take a llama for a walk!
Clay pigeon shooting, sheep shearing displays and tours of the college’s working dairy rounded off an extensive list of opportunities for visitors.
The day finished with the ever-popular family dog show, which included prizes for ‘waggiest tail’ and ‘best walk at heel’, which featured Hartpury staff dressed up in full canine costume. Needless to say, they didn’t win, despite being led around the ring by the Principal!
“It was a brilliant day with a constant stream of people from start to finish and it was great to hear so many people of all ages telling me what a great day they had,” said Hartpury Principal Russell Marchant.
“We basked in sunshine for most of the day and it was a great opportunity to show off the campus in all its glory. As well as it being a great day out for all the family and a celebration of all that our county has to offer, it’s a chance for us to showcase what we do at Hartpury, from our outstanding sporting success to our brilliant equine facilities, extensive animal management collection and working farm and our professional courses.
“I really hope that people enjoyed the day as much as we enjoyed welcoming them. I need to give a big thank you to everyone who helped us to raise an incredible amount of money for charity.”
A gallery of photos from the Summer Fair will be made available on Hartpury College’s Facebook page this week and a ‘Storify’ of the event is already available at https://storify.com/emmasmith78/hartpury-summer-fair-55755d42b0c1286d2f21e3fb#publicize