Organisers of an annual feast of flowers, crafts and cookery believe they have all the ingredients for a successful event and they are aiming to attract more entries from children this time round,
The renowned Alnwick Spring Show is being staged at the town’s Willowbrun Sports and Leisure Centre on Saturday, April 18, from 11am to 5pm.
The event, in its ninth year, is growing in size and popularity, with entrants coming from far and wide and top judges casting their eyes over the exhibits.
And show coordinator Gill Starkey believes the seeds are being sown to make this year’s event blooming marvellous. She said: “Fingers crossed we have got all of the ingredients for another good event. As long as the spring wether is kind to us. The show has been put back a week this year, so hopefully that will mean that we will have more tulips this time round.”
One of the aims for 2015 is to encourage more youngsters to enter the show. The classes have been changed this time round to create more quirky and imaginative categories for children to participate in.
Novelty classes in the Children’s Open include making a fantasy car made out of vegetables/fruit/foliage and creating a cress eggman or woman, while children’s cookery will range from a mini pizza to decorated gingerbread shapes.
First-prize winners in the children’s sections receive a rosette while each youngster who enters will be given a Cadbury’s Creme Egg, sponsored by WHSmith.
Gill said: “We would like to try to encourage more children to enter this year. The show takes place on the last weekend of the Easter school holidays and we hope that this will mean that children have some free time to create their entries.”
For adults competitors, there will be open and amateur classes and categories include daffodils, tulips, floral art, cookery, sugarcraft and general horticulture, which are set to attract a lot of interest from exhibitors around the region, and perhaps, even further afield.
Gill said: “The show is always a good standard and I believe this year will be a very good. The committee is grateful for the sponsorship and support received from numerous local firms and individuals.” Last year’s event attracted around 700 people and about 100 exhibitors, including those from Yorkshire and Oxford. Gill is hoping for more of the same this time round.
She said: “It does depend on the weather but fingers crossed, we are expecting as many people as in 2014. We attract entries from across the region, including Tyneside and County Durham, and of course, around Northumberland.”
Judges on the day will be Philida Irving, Rae Beckwith, Marion Dickinson, Margaret Onions and Keith Eyre, while Lord Howick of Glendale is due to present the children’s rosettes and major awards to prizewinners on Saturday at 3pm. He is stepping in for the Duchess of Northumberland, patron of the show, who cannot attend this year.
Just like in 2014, this April’s event will be staged on one day, instead of across both days of the weekend, as in previous years.
Gill said: “We held the show on just the Saturday last year and it seemed to work really well, so we thought we would do the same this time round.”
Members of Alnwick’s Pottergate Pantry will attend the event to offer cafe-style refreshments. There will also be a plant stall and local crafts, while a number of locally-based organisations will have stands.
Gill added: “There will be plenty of things to see and do at the show, other than viewing the exhibits.”
Admission is £2, but exhibitors and U16s are free. All entries are free, but exhibitors must not submit more than one entry per class.
Applications for classes in the Floral Art section (1 to 4) are to be submitted to the show secretaries by the Thursday prior to the event.
Entries for classes 5 to 81 will be accepted on the Friday from 4pm to 9.30pm and 7am to 8.45am on the Saturday. Prior notification to the show secretaries would be appreciated.
The show programme is available from libraries and tourist information centres.
Entry form in this week’s Gazette