Bernard Hall Cuddington
By Haddenham Webteam - 4th July 2016 10:00am
You have to hand it to the Haddenham Beer Festivals Trust, and its group of hardworking volunteers: they sure know how to throw an outdoor party!
Summerfest is an amazing event, and it is difficult to find the superlatives that adequately describe this remarkable highlight in Haddenham's Summer calendar.
Despite a distinctly "iffy" weather forecast, over 3,500 ticket-buying guests turned up on Saturday 2nd July (and that doesn't count all the children) confident in the knowledge that this very well organised event would offer them a terrific day out, come rain or shine.
And both rain and shine were the order of the day — torrential downpours one minute and wonderful skin-tanning sunshine the next. Thankfully, the sunshine got a much better share of the day, as umbrellas and plastic macs were dispensed with in favour of T-shirts, flip-flops and suntan lotion!
The food was a scrummy delight with sufficient choice to seduce even the most fastidious of eaters.
Meanwhile, fourteen live bands (count them!), all offering their time and talents as a free gift to the event, played their hearts out — and not a weak set among them. All the live acts provided an exceptional standard of musical entertainment: eat your heart out Glastonbury, and no mud on our site either!
Many visitors came to enjoy a family event, and it was a genuine delight to see such a large group of children shaking their thing and getting on down (or whatever the youngsters say these days!) — dancing in front of the main stage to the thumping delights of the live bands. This was probably the youngest set of groupies that local rock bands 'Unchosen' and 'MFU' had ever played to!
Other visitors were doubtless attracted to the huge range of real ales, novel ciders and other specialist drinks on offer, carefully selected by Pete Summerskill and Maria Woolverton, and ably assisted on the day by their team of servers and pint pullers.
Based on a quick count after Summerfest closed at 9.00pm on Saturday, visitors had managed to finish off 130 barrels of beer, 21 kegs of lager & craft ales and 36 boxes of real cider.
That equates to roughly 12,000 pints!
Meanwhile, those looking for a more traditional means of refreshment on an English Summer's afternoon saw off approximately 960 pints of Pimms!
Ultimately, Summerfest is a charity fundraising event, raising huge amounts of money for local good causes — not only in Haddenham, but in support of organisations in local villages and towns too. Even before Summerfest 2016, the Beer Festivals Trust had made grant payments woth over £228,000 since its inception, and this year the organisers are looking to add in excess of £30,000 to that total.
None of this would be possible without the much needed practical assistance of some 150 helpers, both in setting up and taking down, but especially on the day of the event itself. Major thanks are also due to the 120 sponsors, who continue to support Summerfest and ensure that the upfront costs of the Festivals Trust are minimised, and that local good causes gain the maximum from all the fundraising efforts.
Thanks for a wonderful event, folks. Here's to Winterfest, on Saturday 10th December 2016. Cheers!
Lots more to enjoy in our GALLERIES section