Garden Festival 2018
St Austell’s White River Place went properly green for the town’s inaugural Garden Festival on Saturday June 30th 2018.
The Festival, which ran from 10:00am until 4:00pm across Aylmer Square and South Square, marked the launch of the St Austell Bay Economic Forum’s (SABEF) wider vision for St Austell as a Garden Town, as well as the greening initiatives planned and being undertaken by the Town Council.
Displays by the local Great Gardens were complemented by stalls showcasing St Austell’s horticultural businesses and endeavours – including community groups such as People and Gardens – and other town initiatives, as well as wider Cornish and National organisations.
The event was officially launched by SABEF Chair and Chief Executive James Staughton along with Mayor Gary King, Richard Hurst from White River Place and Annette Miller from St Austell BID.
Speaking of the new initiative, James Staughton said, “The Garden Festival is designed to be a celebration of the natural beauty that surrounds St Austell and the clay country. We have a wealth of trees and horticultural excellence that lend themselves to our plans to make St Austell a Garden Town like Nantes in France. The annual Festival is now a great vehicle to promote these plans and for local people to come and see how the town and the surrounding area will be transformed in the coming years to truly showcase what St Austell has to offer. As WhiteGold is a celebration of our heritage, the Garden Festival is a celebration of the future possibilities and opportunities for the local area.”
The Garden Festival, organised in conjunction with White River Place and St Austell BID, featured the results of a hotly contested school planting competition where children were able to show off their gardening skills by planting up old suitcases, originally destined for landfill, that were donated by Suez to help wth the festival.
The Festival was also part of St Austell BID’s portfolio for the Britain in Bloom national finals. BID Manager Annette Miller said “We’ve got so much to shout about in and around St Austell in terms of greenery and floral displays and that’s been recognised by the Royal Horticultural Society judging panel. The Festival will really give us a chance to shine even brighter for the final round.”
Entertainment in the form of stilt walkers, face painters and St Austell Bay Radio helped with the party spirit on the day while, for the more sedate, a croquet lawn gave visitors to the festival a chance to have a go at one of the country’s oldest and most popular garden games alongside some free samples of locally produced beers from St Austell Brewery and cream teas from the WI!
As centre manager Richard Hurst added, “The whole day was designed to be fun and was a celebration of our local environment but, more seriously it was also for local people to see how much work is going on behind the scenes to revitalise the town and ensure that it continues to be a great place to live, work and enjoy socially. We hope everyone enjoyed the day in helping us celebrate the great things that St Austell offers and building the future we all want for the town.”
The date for the next Garden Festival is Saturday 22nd June – we will see you there!