The Fen Edge Festival is a great occasion in the Fen Edge village calendar. It is too early to start looking at the long-range weather forecast but it is not too early to mark your calendars for June 21-23, 2019. The dates are set.
The Festival has evolved over the years but we believe we have established a winning formula. Our simple objective is to showcase all that is good about village life by putting on an inclusive event that provides everyone with the opportunity to get involved and to participate in a wide range of activities with families and friends.
The Fen Edge Community Association is a charity and we also rely on the event to raise money for good causes in the community. Other Fen Edge charities and community associations participate in the event and they highlight their own activities, provide entertainment and also raise money for their good causes. Community associations and groups from Willingham, Rampton, Cottenham and Landbeach were involved. In 2017, over the whole event, well over £10,000 was raised for Fen Edge charities and community groups.
But the event is absolutely not about raising as much money as we can. We think that is what makes it so successful. We want to ensure that there are a wide range of events that are either free or reasonably priced, especially those aimed at families with children. In 2017, we ensured that no ride was more than £1 and we heavily subsidised popular activities such as the mini-golf. The Saturday and Sunday night events are always free to attend. This means that we know we are going to make a loss on some of the key activities. We will do the same in 2019 to ensure that the event is affordable.
How do we make up the gap?
We rely on local businesses and other bodies like the Parish Council to support us with financial and in-kind contributions. In the absence of these contributions, we would need to run the event just like any other fair with activities priced accordingly. We are very fortunate in that we have a large number of organisations who have been willing to support the event. We hope they will do so in 2019. Indeed, we hope that other businesses who have not supported us in recent years, will come forward and help.
The other thing that makes the event work is volunteers. Lots of them. The Organising Committee is already hard at work and they generously contribute their time in ensuring that the activities and facilities are booked, the appropriate licences and health and safety requirements in place, the stalls are occupied and positioned and many other tasks. No detail can be left to chance. The Committee is still on the hunt for willing volunteers to join to support our social media presence and health and safety roles. Come and be part of something wonderful! If you wish to get involved, then please contact me.
Chair – Fen Edge Community Association