The day started with a downpour and ended with sunshine, on Sunday 7 July, as around 12,000 people came through Horsham Park to enjoy the exciting annual Funday Sunday, the largest community event in Horsham.
Organised by the Rotary Club of Horsham, the event featured music and drama from local arts organisations, along with tasty food, a variety of stalls from local vendors and societies, and games for the whole family.
The early cloudy atmosphere was immediately brightened with the arrival of around 750 primary school students from across the Horsham district in the popular Children’s Parade. Billed as joyous creativity through art, music and dance, the parade created a blazing festival atmosphere, with creative Mardis Gras-type costumes and elaborate banners celebrating all forms of art and pop-art.
Throughout the day, the main stage was filled with local bands, choirs and dance groups, with karate clubs and the Capel wrestlers nearby, delighting the kids and bringing the festival to life.
A big attraction was Titan the Robot, courtesy of Horsham District Council year of Culture 2019, who wowed the crowds with his hulking metallic frame and cheeky personality.
Nearly 60 charity stalls were on hand to raise money and awareness for their causes, and 90 community groups were represented, including The Horsham Society, Horsham Sea Cadets, Horsham Community Responders, and the Horsham Geology Club. There was something for everyone, from every part of the local community.
“It was a fantastic day that everyone seemed to enjoy,” said Peter Lake, president of the Rotary Club of Horsham, “Rotary is all about community, so we’re thrilled with the turnout. It’s such a good opportunity for people to come together and, by all accounts, it was the best ever Funday Sunday.”
A very special and unique feature of Funday Sunday is the free two-hour session that Benson’s Funfair allots to children registered as having special needs, so they can enjoy the rides in a calmer atmosphere before the event opens officially to the public.
Hundreds of children were able to have an experience that otherwise would not be available to them, much to the delight and appreciation of their families.
Mark Benson of Benson’s Funfair and Dave Smith, Rotary organizer of the special needs event, agreed that seeing the joy on the children’s faces is one of the most rewarding experiences of the day.
The charity gave thanks to all who made the day special:
“Horsham Rotary sends a heartfelt thanks to all the Funday Sunday volunteers and sponsors who made the day possible. The Titan and Europa Explorer Scout groups were a tremendous help throughout the event. Sponsors include Gatwick Mitsubishi & Kia, NFU Mutual Henfield, Bluecoat Sports Health and Fitness Club, Mansell McTaggart, and Henfield Hire & Self Storage.
As always, a special line of thanks goes to Horsham District Council and Town Center Manager Garry Mortimer-Cook, whose continuing support have been key to this popular event over the years.
There is one more special name to mention. John LeRossignol, one of the stalwarts of Horsham Rotary and a driving force behind Funday Sunday and numerous other community service initiative – including the special needs funfair – passed away on 5 July, just a few days before his beloved Funday. He will always be remembered.”