Horsham turned on “splendida” Italian style as a splash of Continental colour brightened the Easter weekend despite capricious weather.
Shoppers at Piazza Italia enjoyed the best conditions on a sunny Good Friday.
But there was good support overall despite changeable weather on Saturday and Monday when a mixture of hail, showers, bursts of sun and gusting wind arrived. This included a brief but disruptive Storm Katie that forced a modified show on Easter Monday.
Pride of place in the showcase of food, drink, and attractive vehicles was taken by displays of distinctive and colourful cars throughout the three-day showcase of the best of Italian produce. Names like Maserati and Alfa Romeo were on display as well as stunning and sleek scooters.
Good Friday brought the elegance of 70 classic Ferraris, including a Ferrari 250SWB worth just under £7 million. As a bonus 250 Ducati Owners Club Italian motorbikes thundered through the Carfax on the way to their own parking area in the Bishopric.
Saturday saw 30 plus supercars, courtesy of The Children’s Trust’s Supercar event supporters, and about 40 Minis, organised by the Italian Job.com, create exciting features with the Italian and local produce markets trading strongly despite sometimes miserable conditions. The forecast high winds and rain led the organisers to relocate many of the outside activities into Easter Pop-Up units in Swan Walk to ensure entertainment went ahead.
Storm related problems dealt with by the event team on Monday included a temporary closure of West Street while a dangerous scaffold was made safe, cordons put under sections of wind damaged artwork in East Street, preventing display use, and groups of display cars being led in via Guildford Road as Worthing Road had been blocked by a fallen tree.
Three children’s charities, Chestnut Tree House, The Children’s Trust and Winston’s Wish were supported by businesses and drivers over the weekend and in particular by new event partners, the Sporting Bears whose car owners provided ‘Dream Rides’ on Good Friday and Easter Monday, alone raising more than £1700.
Throughout the weekend, the event’s entertainers produced some wonderful performances under their ‘Ten of the Best’ billing. Tricia Youtan, chairman of Horsham District Council said: “What a fantastic event Horsham District Council and its partners put on. The enormous crowds who attended with their support and enthusiasm proved why Horsham is regarded as one of the best places to live in the UK.”