Thousands flock to Cwmbran Big Event - take two
2:20pm Sunday 23rd September 2012 in News
CROWDS of around 11,000 people flocked to Cwmbran on Saturday for the town's second annual Big Event.
Bathed in sunshine, the scene at Cwmbran Boating Lake could not be more different from that which forced the postponement of the event back in June when torrential rain made the site inaccessible.
Torfaen council leader Bob Wellington said the event was just what the community needed after the tragic deaths of the Buckley family last week.
He said: "That was unbelievably sad, it's been a terrible week for Cwmbran and I hoped this show will perhaps try and pick people up a bit.
"I knew the grandmother by sight and the daughter was in the same school as my granddaughter.
"The youngsters in Cwmbran are feeling it as well as everyone else so we have to be careful with them and look out for them."
"It (the show) has been excellent - we've had good weather for a start. I've not seen a show like this in Torfaen with this number of people before."
Many took advantage of the fine weather to enjoy a picnic, whist others sampled the homemade cakes, cheeses and other culinary delights on offer at the many stalls.
Youngsters got stuck into sporting taster sessions, including everything from five-a-side football and dodgeball to boxercise and golf.
For those who preferred to watch there were Zumba demonstrations and Tae Kwon Do shows from Zen Martial Martial Arts Academy.
Some tested their agility on the climbing wall, whilst others took to the inflatable assault course and slides.
There was fairground rides, arts and crafts and go-karting, along with storytelling and bush craft skills workshops.
Army enthusiasts got the chance to climb aboard a vintage fire engine and bomb disposal vehicle, whilst veterans and Help for Heroes supporters showed off air rifles.
St John Ambulance demonstrated life-saving skills, whilst the City of Newport Engineering Society ran steam engine rides. Local singers and dance groups took to the main stage including veteran movers the Cwmbran Rebel Stompers, who proved you're never too old to take up a new hobby. Event compare Steve Parry is originally from Llantarnum and now lives in London, but made the trip back especially to host the event after last year's success.
He said: "It's been fantastic. The diversity of the town is being showcased and the amount of talent here is fantastic. It doesn't matter if you're eight or 80 there's something to get involved in in Cwmbran and we should be proud to say that."