Stevenage Day 2019: 'Biggest and best yet' for diamond anniversary
PUBLISHED: 12:26 10 June 2019 | UPDATED: 11:18 11 June 2019
Stevenage Borough Council delivered on their big promise of a fantastic, free day out at the 60th annual Stevenage Day.
There were an estimated 30,000 people, sunshine and lots of fun for everyone at Stevenage Day's diamond anniversary yesterday.
The day's events included performing acts such as contortionists, fire breathers, cheerleaders and dance troupes.
For the kids, there were fairground rides, bouncy castles and petting farms. Parents unwound with drinks, snacks and live music in the food court.
As Mayor Simon Speller opened the event, he spoke of the very first Stevenage Day in 1959 as a glorified sports day.
"Things have clearly evolved in the last 60 years.
"Today, it's the biggest community event in all of Stevenage," he said.
And he wasn't wrong. 200 different charities, businesses and organisations pitched stalls on the day, from Alzheimer's research to Stevenage Wetlands.
For some charities, Stevenage Day is their biggest fundraiser of the year.
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Richard Mott, chairman of the Stevenage Branch of Royal British Legion, has brought the legion to Stevenage Day for the last 25 years.
Without Stevenage Day, the branch would struggle to keep up with costs.
"It's an ideal situation for us. This is our branch fundraising day, the rest of the year is for the poppy appeal."
"I've been here a long time. There seems to be quite a lot more people this year than usual."
READ MORE: Can you help RBL charity worker find wedding ring lost at Stevenage Day?
Geoff Caine has been one of the main event organisers for the last nine years. His job preparing for this year's Stevenage Day started as early as January.
He said: "It's a massive event. The community has really come out to celebrate 60 years of Stevenage and the uniqueness of the town.
"This year is the biggest and best yet. We struggle to improve it every year!"
Frances Williams, born and raised in Stevenage, remembers how simple the day used to be. "Everything's got a lot more hi-tech now!" She chuckles.
"Looking around, there's something for everyone. It's just lovely. It's definitely a lot busier today than it has been."
Frances hopes events like Stevenage Day prove any of the town's doubters wrong.
"I love it here, I wouldn't want to live anywhere else!"