The 3rd annual Garden Party held at Saughton Park on 21 May 2016 was a huge success!! We estimate there were around 450 people overall and with a great mix of individuals and families whose ages ranged from babies to those in the late 80's. Many were part of the group from Cornerstone who brought along around 25 service users, most of whom are elderly with dementia.
Friends of Saughton Park volunteers were asked to come along and help and many did. On the afternoon of Friday 20 May four FoSP members along with Pete met in the Winter Garden to move the recently delivered new marquees out of storage as they are heavy and were still packed in boxes. The shelters were then assembled and checked over and made ready for the following day.
Ten FoSP members were there on the day of the Garden Party, and after starting at 10:00am we were organised and ready to go by 11:30. This was the first time we used the marquees and preparing all the various activities and setting up the cafe needed many hands. As has become customary, many other FoSP members baked cakes and scones and their handy work filled the cafe tables and transformed the conservatory into a Saughton Park community cafe.
FoSP put a lot of effort into planning a wide range of activities e.g.
Bear Hunt (83 check lists were returned,52 had postcodes and 19 had ages. total number of participants were 100 as some kids shared a checklist)
Croquet in the Italian Garden with Balgreen Croquet Club
Traditional games such as quoits, skittles and giant jenga
Pop up café with homemade cakes and scones
Living Memory Association Bygone Saughton display
Dads Rock storytelling and
The event was busy from the start, with people arriving from 11:30 and by 13:30 cake was running low and supplies of paper plates, napkins, milk and jam had to be replenished from ASDA. From 12:30 until 15:30 there was a sizeable crowd in the Winter Garden, front lawn, Italian Garden and Rose Garden. People had obviously made their minds up to come along and stay, in fact we had a job clearing people out of the Conservatory at 4:30, however two lovely Middle Eastern ladies and their children who had been at the event all afternoon stayed to help clear up and told Pete that they loved the Park and all that we are doing.
The weather was generally a lot better than forecast, with most of the afternoon allowing for folk to sit on the grass and just relax in the sun whilst listening to music.
Miles from The Living Memory Association (Thelma) brought a gramophone and played old Bing Crosby records, Zahra Lowzley who is one of the top ten ukulele players in the World entertained us in the big tent with three virtuoso sets which traversed many genres, Dads Rock played songs and told stories also in the big tent whilst Strawberry Jam (aka Joe and Pete) strummed a few tunes in the glasshouse.
Everyone felt that the range of activities were appropriate, that the pop up café is operating well and that the marquees were a great addition.
Huge thank you to all volunteers and visitors who made it a special day! More photos can be found on our Gallery page/ We look forward to welcoming you at our Festival Madness Party 21 August 2016!!!