Maidenhead Carnival – 2nd June 2012

What a fantastic time we enjoyed at Maidenhead Carnival 2012!

Yesterday evening, as we had finalised and made ready the marquees, tables and literature, we had been somewhat uncertain what the day would bring.  The stalls in Kidwells Park, of which we were one, had been moved across to a different area, with less space available.  We were even unsure as to whether we would be able to use both of the marquees.

We were on site by 8.30am this morning and found ourselves allocated a space at the corner of where the main access path meets another path – an ideal location!

Despite missing those away at camp, we had a good team who were able to assemble both marquees in good time before we ventured inside to enjoy a coffee and short time of prayer for the day ahead.

Once in the park, as we’ve found in previous years, the numbers take a while to get going.  The weather didn’t help, with a grey skies combining with a chilly breeze – only the most die-hard were able to have their Parkside polo shirts displayed!

A chilly morning in the park

We concentrated on giving invitations to the next Family Service and BBQ on 17th June, as well as various Jubilee tracts.

Poster advertising craft and literature table
Paul making a point

The marquees were decked out with bunting and paperchains in honour if the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations – a theme picked up by surprisingly few of the other stalls.

This year we had a trio of craft activities for the children with crown-making and decorating probably being the most popular – ahead of colouring in Union Flags and the construction of cardboard ‘Olympic torches’.

Craft activities in the marquee

As well as handing out various literature, we were able to have some excellent conversations with passers-by – many of whom seemed very receptive – particularly to the invitation for a ‘free BBQ’.

Mike oblivious that he’s about to be eaten by a giant bird!

As in previous years, Paul had come prepared with a selection of Jubilee cupcakes, which proved popular with the helpers.

During the afternoon the sun finally broke through the clouds and brought with it the first warmth of summer.

Blue sky and polo shirts in the afternoon

As we struck camp in the sunshine at the end of the day, we all reflected on what a tremendous day we had enjoyed.  Many felt it to be our most successful Carnival yet in terms of goodie bags and literature distributed and we have already asked to return to the same spot next year!  With hindsight, more of the Jubilee themed literature would have been helpful as people seemed to be particularly keen to receive mementos of such a memorable weekend.

Ken having some issues with his nose!

We have much to praise the Lord for!

Maidenhead Carnival – 11th June 2011

After heavy overnight rain, we enjoyed a mainly sunny day in Kidwells Park for Maidenhead Carnival.

It was the third year in a row that the Carnival had been in the park, after relocating from down by the river, and also the third year that we had decided to take a stall.

We had an early start to the day and were on site by 8.30am.

Setting up two marquees, along with all the tables, chairs, literature, competition entry forms and associated other detritus took the best part of an hour and a half, by which time early-birds had begun to arrive in the park.

We enjoyed a short time of prayer, and a coffee before venturing forth.

The Parkside marquees at Maidenhead Carnival 2011

As in previous years, we had decided to hold a colouring competition for children.  This provided the dual purpose of giving the kids something to do whilst allowing their parents to sit down for a while and take a rest.  It also gave us the opportunity to talk to the parents about some of our different activities at Parkside, along with what we believe. 

Each completed entry for the colouring competition received a goody bag containing a pen, pencil, stickers, lollipop and balloon – along with invites to Sunday Club and the next Family Service and BBQ.

In addition, we also gave out invitations to our next Family Service and had various Christian literature available, as well as invitation cards for our main weekly services.

Like the last couple of years, the morning was relatively quiet.  There were many activities going on at the main stage and many visitors seemed to just visit the stalls area once they’ve finished their lunch.

Things were busier in the afternoon with a steady stream of children and adults coming along to take part in the colouring competition.

We also had an unexpected visit from a young song thrush who seemed unable to fly properly and hopped around inside the marquee for a while.

An unexpected visitor

It was also good to see Andrew Burdett stop by.  He previously came along, with his parents, to our Mother’s Day Tea, back in early April.  He spent part of his carnival performing on the main stage.

Another welcome treat was a homemade chocolate cake which Paul brought along.  It didn’t last for long after this photo was taken.

Paul's homemade cake, garnished with a Parkside business card

At around 5pm, a heavy rain shower forced us to pull everything back inside the marquee.  The weather soon relented and with the crowds beginning to disperse, the stall-holders were taking the opportunity to begin dismantling and clearing things away.

It had been a good day.  We finished the day with fifty entries into the colouring competition and also had lots of people go away with information.  We pray that we will see them return to our next Family Service on July 3rd or to some of our other activities in the future.

Our thanks also goes to Chris Chugg of the Rotary Club for sorting us out such a great location for our stall.  We’ve already decided with him that we’d like the same again at next year’s Maidenhead Carnival!

Maidenhead Carnival Preparation – 8th June 2011

With just over 48 hours to go, we’re nearly ready for Maidenhead Carnival 2011.

The polo shirts have been purchased, the invitation cards have arrived, the literature stands have been sourced and the pencils have been sharpened.

Like last year, we’re planning another colouring competition, as well as having a range of Christian literature available and also giving out invitations for our next Family Service on July 3rd.

Parkside's stall at the 2010 Maidenhead Carnival

We hope to make lots of contacts through our activities in the park during the day.  If you’re coming along to Maidenhead Carnival on Saturday, please stop by and have a chat – we don’t bite, honest!