What a wonderful time we had on Isle of Wight Day! We’d like to say another huge thank you to all the individuals, groups and businesses that took part – we couldn’t have done it without you and the day was a true celebration of the Island.
The parade was a resounding success with a huge turnout, with many participators and spectators fuelled by delicious food served by Aspire. We were joined by national companies, including Tesco, whose wonderfully willing staff dressed up as fruit and veg, and handed out healthy snacks to the crowds. At the forefront, of course, were Islanders, including schools, bands and community groups who truly got into the spirit of the parade. We were delighted to hear that many who watched or took part in the parade felt it was reminiscent of carnivals of yesteryear. As each Isle of Wight Day comes around, we will aim to make each parade bigger and better than the last, a celebration of our Island’s fantastic past and present.
Those who followed the parade found a lively party at Simeon Street Rec, where children had fun on the Victorian Fairground, and everyone was able to sample some of the Island’s tasty food and drink, and enjoy performances from local bands. The day was finished with a fantastic firework display, a real delight for all those who attended – which we hope to repeat next year.
Over in Cowes, our Island’s Got Talent finalists were preparing to go on stage and entertain an eager audience. An entertained they were – from 6 year old Harry, piano maestro, to the funky Ryde Academy Dance Group, all acts were amazing and the excitement was palpable. The judges Rob Da Bank, Anneka Rice and Mark King played their roles fantastically (giving the Britain’s Got Talent panel a run for their money!), while compere Paul Topping had the audience in stitches between acts. Competition was fierce and the atmosphere was tense as the judges prepared to announce their winner. After careful consideration, Ryde Academy Elite were crowned the winners for their show-stopping Michael Jackson inspired modern dance performance – which blew the audience and the judges away!
Around the Island, restaurants and hotels wowed diners with delectable treats for ‘Dish of the Isle of Wight Day’ – ranging from scrummy cream teas to three course fine dining. A fantastic food fair in Bembridge was opened by Isle of Wight Day founder Robin Courage, where locally sourced food and drink was enjoyed by the crowds.
Images courtesy of Michael Dunkason and Brightbulb Design