Lucinda gives us an insider's guide to the Summer Fiesta and what we can look forward to at the event on 10th July...

“You put your left arm in, your left arm out….” That’s my tenuous way of linking Indoor Events and Outdoor Events in the city. Let me explain: I’m Lucinda and I work in the VisitBrighton Convention Bureau. Basically that means I make it really easy for corporate businesses and associations to bring their conferences to Brighton.  But I wear many hats. This one I imagine to be a bright & sparkly hat, in the VisitBrighton colours of magenta, purple and cyan. I’m thinking bowler hat to show the serious side of (puts on ‘Sam the Eagle’ voice from Muppets Christmas Carol) BUSINESS.

I am also an honorary VisitBrighton marketing team member - I get to write blog posts in my own time. What would this hat look like, Lucinda? Well, I’m glad you asked….this hat would be slick and gold but sophisticated like marketing people are. Maybe a ROSE gold cabin crew style hat with neon orange piping for a bit of ‘va va voom’?

Last year I joined the team who organise the Summer Fiesta in Hove Park. Through this volunteer role I now interact with another council department – The Outdoor Events team. The metaphor for this would be a bright yellow fisherperson style rain hat. Still a fun and cheery thing to deal with but a much higher chance of getting rained on. Which it did in 2021. A lot. In keeping with the colour theme, there was even a yellow weather warning – just right to match my headwear.

And, as for the Summer Fiesta itself – a free, family-friendly community event in Hove Park, full of Latin flavours, dance, performances, food, shows and activities. Well, it’s got to be a sombrero, right? Wepa! (Oh yeah!)

“You Shake it all about” That’s what the audience does at the Summer Fiesta. All the performances on the Main Stage are free to watch and join in with. There’s Zumba, Salsa, Latin, Flamenco….and everyone is encouraged to dance along. It’s high-energy, and you can’t help but smile. Led by Federico - local Colombian Zumba instructor with, quite frankly, a cult-like following (I mean that with warmth and love!) everyone adores him. Speaking of adorable – this year we have ‘DJ Mini Hendrix’ He’s a nine year old who DJ’s. Too. Damn. Cute.

“You turn around” to see all the stalls all around Hove Park. This takes a lot of co-ordinating. Although we’re all volunteers who have actual jobs and families and all that jazz, we still put so much into making this community event good for everyone. We offer discounts to the stall holders for providing free kid activities on their stalls. That way we ensure there are lots of fun things to do that are FREE.

“That’s what it’s all about” The Fizz Pop Science Shows will demonstrate ‘what it’s about’ though the medium of science. All five shows are located inside the Summer Fiesta marquee. Yay! Inside – this is more familiar territory for me. Normally I work in event spaces with beautiful, underappreciated things like solid walls, chairs, toilets and plug sockets. All things that you have to source and to get to Hove Park in the morning of the event. Did I mention I have to be there at 7am?!?

“Whoa! The hokey Cokey.” Diet Coke-y, and other drinks are available at the licensed bar, and all the food vendors too. There will be Tacos, Tapas, Quesadillas, BBQ, Pizza (fun fact - pizza is traditional in Cuba!) Fish & Chips, Vegan Indian Street Food, Ice Cream and Vegan Ice Cream and Boozy Sorbet. I’m approaching the frozen treats like a Pepsi taste test – buy them all to compare – all in the interest of research. I’ll be relying heavily on sugar to power me though the day.

“Knees bent” To get closer to the lovely dogs. Huh? Dogs? What are you on about? I know it seems barking mad, but this year the Summer Fiesta has a dog show! But that’s not Latin themed, is it? Nope, not really, but my Spanish translation team came up with calling it ‘Show Canino’ so now it is! Show is used in Spanish despite being an English word, and ‘Canino’ means canine, so even if you don’t speak Spanish, it’s easy to see what it is. The alternative was ‘Exhibicion de perros’ and I was heavily disappointed that ‘Bark in the Park’ doesn’t translate and still rhyme. Dammit.

“Arms stretched” above their heads as they spin on the teacup ride, jump on the bouncy castle, work their way through the inflatable assault course, try out the ‘Equaliser’ and the various games & challenges we have lined up. Your arms will be stretched (or maybe that’s ‘twisted’?) in a different way – buying candy floss, popcorn, fruit cups, sweetie bags, cake….

“Ra ra ra…” Ra…ttle snakes! Well, not rattle snakes, that wouldn’t be very popular, not to mention the extensive risk assessment, but albino Burmese pythons, chameleons and crested geckos to name a few. All courtesy of Reptylers. Let’s have a moment to appreciate that name – if your surname is Tyler and your business is to run reptile encounter experiences, then you’ve hit the business name jackpot.

“You put your whole self in.” To the spirit of things with Guru Dudu Silent Disco Walking Tours. If you’re local, you’ve probably seen them out and about being bright, colourful and loud doing their flash mob style dance thing. It’s going to be ‘fenomenal’ (Fantastic in Spanish).

Did you know?

⇒ Anyone can organise an event on council land. Check out details here: www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/libraries-leisure-and-arts/events-and-filming/organising-event-council-land-0

⇒ Every vendor needs Public Liability Insurance, but it can be as cheap as £17 for the day.

⇒ You can pay the council to advertise your event on the 150 ‘Double Crown Poster’ sites across the city.

⇒ Signing up to the Brighton & Hove Council’s ‘Sustainable Events Commitment’ is a great way to demonstrate the actions you’re taking to ensure you’re  being as kind to the environment as possible.


Pop the date in your diary – Sunday 10th July 2022 - follow us on social media, check out our website www.summerfiesta.co.uk and on the day - look for a woman running around tweaking from too much sugar, in a high vis vest and wearing lots of hats.

Lucinda

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