Battle’s Big Event on the starting blocks

AFTER years of careful planning, a 10 week community festival of sport, culture and art to celebrate the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games is just one week away from kicking off. Battle’s Big Event, an initiative from the Battle and District Partnership with the support of Battle Town Council, Battle and District Chamber of Commerce and Battel Bonfire Boyes, will showcase projects and events from more than 27 local organisations and clubs based in Battle and the peripheral parishes.

Chairman of the Battle’s Big Event steering committee, Mike Dawes, said: “The idea of holding a large community festival to celebrate 2012 was conceived eight years ago.

“Battle’s Big Event was proposed with the sole intention of building a stronger relationship between our town and villages; schools and colleges; young and the old, bringing them all together in a variety of activities both sporting and cultural.”

The concept proved an irresistible challenge to the Battle and District Partnership, who quickly formed a steering group composed of representatives from Battle and District Chamber of Commerce, Battle Town Council, East Sussex County Council, Rother District Council and Claverham Community College to provide event organisers with advice on legislation, sponsorship, health and safety concerns.

The Opening Ceremony, organised by the Battle Bonfire Boyes, will feature a traditional barn dance, carnival procession, summer fayre, music evening and ‘Jubilation’ concert by Battle Light Opera Group all squeezed into next weekend (starting Friday June 29). For the proceeding 10 weeks residents and visitors can expect events such as the highly anticipated return of Battle Scarecrow Festival, a photo montage of ‘History As It Happens’ at Battle Museum and an inter-village ‘Sixes Tournament’ hosted by Battle Cricket Club at George Meadow.

Mr Dawes said: “Battle’s Big Event is now the largest ever to be stage in this area. “It has been such a rewarding experience for the committee watching the activities develop month by month, year by year to the now wonderful collection of exciting and creative things which are being presented over the next ten weeks. We would like local people to enjoy the chance of a lifetime and become involved or support all that is happening in the area.” Details and updates from, or follow @battlesbigevent on Twitter.