Summer showers fail to deter crowds from Woodoaks Summer Festival

Watford Observer: Summer showers fail to deter crowds from Woodoaks Summer Festival Summer showers fail to deter crowds from Woodoaks Summer Festival

Summer showers did not deter the hundreds of people who attended the Woodoaks Summer Festival in West Hyde at the weekend.

More than 1,000 visitors turned up to the Woodoaks Farm event, in Denham Way, which was organised by The Woodoaks Association.

The day kicked off at 12.30pm, with a host of activities taking place across the large farm.

Organisers designed the event so that it would have a 1940s feel to it, in an attempt to replicate the festivals that used to take place on the site all those years ago.

Eve Howard, one of the organisers, said: "They used to run it in the 1940s on the farm and the Woodoaks Association decided to bring it back.

"We tried to keep it as true to how they did it then, but we had to change some things. For example, instead of having a boxing tournament, we held a football one.

"It was a community event back in the 1940s and we’re trying to bring it back. We didn’t really know what to expect. We’ve never run anything like this before and, considering the weather, we’re really happy with how it all went."

The main stage featured a variety of performances from Morris dancers, Flamenco dancers and theatre groups.

A football tournament was held between 1.30pm and 5pm at the arena, followed by group games.

Activities such as shadow puppetry were held in the barn. There was an art tent, a baking competition and performances from Mary Calton’s Jazz Band.

There was plenty of opportunities for guests to explore the area, with a number of history and nature walks available across the site.

A particular hit with the children were the Gruffalo walks, hosted by The Chorleywood Bookshop.

There were lots of stalls selling a variety of items.

A fairground was also on-site and proved a particular hit with the youngsters, with activities including the coconut shy, a merry-go-round and trampolines.

Ms Howard added:  "We’re hoping to turn it into a yearly thing and we’re going to try and run two events a year for the community.

"We want to keep the community feel within the farm going. We already run projects on the farm and this is just another string to our bow."

Entry to the event was free, but donations to the Woodoaks Association’s work were welcome.

The festival finished at 6.30pm.

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