THOUSANDS of visitors are expected to flock to Abingdon’s Abbey Gardens today for Fun and Music in the Park 2018.

The previous day’s rain had threatened to make the popular annual event a wash out, however, by midday the skies had cleared and the sun beamed down, allowing families to enjoy the food, drink and entertainment on offer.

This year the fun day features face painting, bouncy castles, a climbing wall and other activities for the youngsters as well as live music and dance, and a host of food and drink stalls.

Oxford Mail:

Organised by Abingdon-on-Thames Town Council, the afternoon affair runs until around 3.30pm before the grounds are cleared and the ticketed live music festival begins.

Town council assistant clerk, Steve Rich said the event, which is expected to attract more than 6,500 people over the day, provided a great opportunity for the community to come together.

He said: “We’ve got some good stalls from the community groups this year and the whole idea is that people can come along and find out more about what’s going on in their town – and have some food and drink and entertainment while they do it.

“Abingdon’s got lots going on and its great that we can showcase it at an event like this.

“It brings people closer together.”

The afternoon entertainment featured the Abingdon Traditional Morris Dancers, a performance from the Amanda Alder Dance Company and music from Oxfordshire Youth Wind Orchestra.

Oxford Mail:

While the sell-out festival tonight will see an eclectic mix of music from local groups such as, rock and pop covers band, The Undercovers, the Oxfordshire Big Band and the Abingdon Town Band.

Oxford Mail:

Sian Price from Abingdon came along with her son Leo, 3, and daughter Daisy, who is one next month, and said: “It’s a great event for the kids, there’s face painting and all sorts which is all free.

“We’ve been before and it’s always good fun, we’re looking forward to the music tonight.”

Oxford Mail:

Rachael Webster, also from Abingdon, brought along her twin boys Cameron and Max, 5, and daughter Ruby, 3, and said the event gets better each year.

She said: “It’s better this year than previous years, there’s more here. It’s always really well put on.”

A 24ft climbing wall proved a popular attraction for the youngsters with 10-year-old Imogen Waters (pictured) from Abingdon showing off her climbing skills.

Oxford Mail:

Mother, Laura Faulks said: “We’ve been to the afternoon every year and we’ll be going to see the music tonight.
“It’s good to get out with the kids and the fact the afternoon activities are all free is great.

“It brings Abingdon together, it’s a nice community and everyone you know from Abingdon is here.”  

Ros Coombes from Iffley who was there with husband Meran, and two children PJ, 4, and Ruben 7, proved the activities weren’t just for the youngsters, as the parents enjoyed a bit of sparring on the inflatable jousting.

Oxford Mail:

She said: “We try to come every year.

“The kids love it; there’s so much to do and it’s all free which is a bonus.”

Oxford Mail:

Fun and Music in the Park has been running for more than a decade now with the evening of music added in 2012.  

The day will finish with a rendition of the national anthem and a fireworks display at around 10pm.