Horsham Great British Weekend - all you need to know

Horsham Great British Weekend. Photo: Toby Phillips Photography
Horsham Great British Weekend. Photo: Toby Phillips Photography

Horsham’s Great British Weekend returns on Saturday and Sunday (May 10/11) with a celebration of British historical and cultural icons.

The free event has been organised by Horsham Time Well Spent partnership supported by Horsham District Council.

Horsham Great British Weekend. Photo: Toby Phillips Photography

Horsham Great British Weekend. Photo: Toby Phillips Photography

What will happen?

There will be two days of traditional outdoor entertainment celebrating British cultural and historic icons with Loxwood knights, live bands, traction engines, and several morris dancing men and women all lined up for the weekend of 11 and 12 May in Horsham Town Centre.

The weekend’s music and dance is sponsored by the Rec Rooms who have a line-up of iconic British music and activities at their Horsham bowling alley venue right across the weekend, starting with a Ska night featuring The Trojan Beats and DJ, followed by a sell-out Top Loader gig on the Saturday night.

Their new ‘The Club House’ sports bar will be in action all through the weekend offering a great venue for family friendly darts, pool and big screen TV.

Day by day rundown

Saturday

Organised by Horsham’s very own Broadwood men, this year’s Day of Dance promises to be more spectacular than ever with over 30 ‘sides’ presenting styles from right across the Morris spectrum.

The opening parade starts, for the first time from The Rec Rooms (Bowling Alley), at 10.30am passing through Medwin Walk and around the Carfax before parties of Morris sides each split off to commence their displays at some six different locations around the town.

Each party of dancers and musicians will rotate around the ‘stands’ ensuring everyone has a chance to enjoy a broad mix of Morris dancing before a finale Public Ceilidh at the bandstand from 3 to 4pm.

Don’t miss the charming Morris Minors’ display alongside the General Market and great range of independent businesses including Apache Menswear, Cloud Gallery and Vacalola children’s shoes at Bishopric.

Sunday

Sunday’s concert for Samaritans by Horsham Folk Club has grown greatly over the last few years showcasing all manner of British traditions in and around the Carfax.

However this year, supported by Horsham District Year of Culture 2019, it takes another bound forward introducing a new feature, ‘Horsham-on-Sea’ on the Forum.

A full programme of bandstand music in aid of Samaritans of Horsham and Crawley starts at around 11am culminating at 2pm with a set from the Columbia Drug Barons.

Loxwood Joust once again takes us back to Medieval times in Market Square demonstrating period crafts alongside knightly pursuits.

New to this year’s Market Square camp is ‘Henry the Heartless’ a sword swallower and all are ably supported by those merry men (and woman) of Brock (the) Taylor – perfect for those on a quest for a new castle or something a little less grand.

Storrington’s car enthusiasts, SADCASE, are bringing a collection of British classic cars to the Carfax accompanied by the ever so slightly heavier Horsham Traction Company engines on the Crown pub corner. Aston Martin owners club Area 16 this time take up residence in East Street with another carefully curated display that spans the 007 favourite’s back catalogue.

Find your way to the Forum aided by some fishy chalk pavement markings and you will come upon the new ‘Horsham-on-Sea’, offering fun for all.

Experience donkey rides, seaside entertainers, have-a-go sand art and children’s activities. Organisers have even commissioned a supply of ‘Horsham Rocks’ rock in partnership with Mr Simms of West Street and there will be a giant deck chair with a bottle of best British bubbly to be won, picked at random from #selfies by sponsor, The Horsham Cellar of Carfax.

British Food and Drink

No Horsham town themed event is complete without something specially in keeping to eat and drink; and Horsham’s Great British Weekend is no exception with plenty of purveyors booked for Horsham’s Markets on Saturday.

The event also has your Sunday lunch all wrapped up with traditional fish & chips on the Forum, a Pie & Mash stall and some medieval fayre from Garlic Wood events on Carfax plus much more to choose from.

Wash all this down with two new drinks being exclusively launched at the Horsham event – Hepworth’s latest – the very British ale, ‘Charger’ in Carfax and Loxwood’s new Mead recipe in Market Square.

The Horsham Cellar will have British wine lovers covered and no doubt Crates Local will be getting you going for gin with another of their brilliant local producer pop-ups on the corner of the Carfax.