Sun Shines on Garden Full of Delights
Young talent to Global Fashion Show, all was as bright as the sunshine as 400 celebrated our second annual Garden Full of Delights in the delightful St Leonards Gardens.The innovation and sheer variety of the 40 plus costumes from many cultures exemplified the fun day in the park which gathered the diverse people of St Leonards in a real family atmosphere – grandparents, children and grandchildren.
Jamie the magician wandered through the crowd making balloons into works of art, In2Play gathered the little ones on two vast blue canvases, Janet enticed budding artists to compete with their original posters and local cafés and restaurants fed us with their cakes, scones, Armenian savouries and Indian curries.
MP, Amber Rudd extended her busy schedule to be with us and Councillor Chris Dowling and his wife came for the day as Chair of East Sussex County, while Mayor Kim Forward opened the event with Jeremy Birch our Hastings Council Chair. Beth and Jerrie won first and second prize in the Talent completion, with Behind Closed Doors, a local band, making 3rd prize.
Young artists received prizes from the Mayor for their poster art. A Jazz duo and local singer songwriter Ian Edwards gave a professional edge to the entertainment. Ian was also one of the judges for the Talent competition and offered a good role model to the young competitors.
There were wonderful raffle prizes from restaurant meals for two to pamper nights for six in your own home – all donated by local businesses and supporting Operation Rise, which is aiming to send ten thousand sets of crutches to amputees in Sierra Leone this September.
Many thanks to Hastings and District Interfaith Forum, Hastings Intercultural Organisation, Friends of St Leonards Gardens and Hastings Borough Council who provided a wonderful band of volunteers to set up and staff the event and to S.E. England Faiths Forum and The Isabel Blackman Foundation who contributed funds to make this family-community day possible.