AN OUT of this world celebration had lift-off in Woking Park on Saturday – with thousands packing the grounds for the return of one of the biggest day’s in the borough’s calendar.
Party in the Park – which this year adopted a sci-fi theme, with notable nods to the Star Wars franchise – once again attracted people in their droves, all eager to unwind and savour the summer feast laid on by organisers.
Celebrate Woking Manager, Riette Thomas, said: “In terms of line-up, Party in the Park 2016 was our biggest and most action packed party to date.
“It’s great that more and more community groups and organisations want to be associated with this professionally run, family event. Thank you to all our exhibitors, stallholders, performers, food vendors and activity providers, you put on a great show.
“And, of course, thank you to our sponsors and volunteers. Without their support it would not have been possible to get this colossal party off the ground.”
While Star Wars – the newest film in particular, The Force Awakens; shown on the Ambassadors’ Big Screen – was at the heart of a great deal of entertainment throughout the day, Woking’s own claim to interstellar fame was the real driving force behind the space-themed action.
For it couldn’t be a sci-fi day without a tip of the hat to HG Wells, author of martian epic The War of the Worlds.
Setting his genre-defining novel right here in Woking, specifically in Horsell Common, Wells’ life is being honoured in this, the 150th year of his birth. Weekend guests at the party were united in their salute to Wells; the massive reach of his powers even persuading one local brewery to create the ‘Horsell Invader’ drink.
Live music from the Sci-Fi Band blasted out Star Wars-inspired parodies of chart hits, while a Martian Parade encouraged costume capers among kids and adults alike.
And as the party began to wind down, the revellers were left to ‘Chew-bacca’ the fat on another successful instalment of the celebration.
Completing the captain’s log, Woking Mayor Anne Murray said: “Party in the Park 2016 was out of this world! A
complete triumph for all those involved in its delivery.
“Thousands ‘came in peace’ to celebrate Woking’s literary hero and to enjoy a day of free entertainment with their friends and families.
“There was a fantastic atmosphere with partygoers really embracing the science fiction theme. I had the delightful but very difficult job of judging the Martian Parade costumes.
“There were a lot of colourful and cleverly put together outfits to choose from but there were a couple of standout winners, which I had the pleasure of awarding prizes to up on the Morrisons Main Stage.”
Picture Special in this week’s News & Mail.