New Year 2024 | Chair’s Report

Mark Hurworth Chair Fen Edge Community AssociationAs I sit writing this article, fresh from a week away in the sun, the clocks have changed and there’s a distinct autumnal chill in the air to join the recent wet weather. As we adjust to and contemplate the cooler temperatures and the shorter days promised by the next few months, what better time is there to look forward to next summer and another Fen Edge Festival?

The Fen Edge Festival is held every other year (now on even years thanks to Covid-19) and is the flagship event of the Fen Edge Community Association (FECA). For the many of you that will have attended previous Festivals, you’ll know what a fantastic event this is and for those new to the Fen Edge Patch, suffice to say you have a real treat in store next summer, when our combined villages come together to provide such a fun, diverse and astonishingly well scheduled and organised weekend.

Such events don’t just happen magically however and it’s important to recognise the hard work and dedication of the Festival committee and all the volunteers that give up their spare time and energy to ensure the Festival’s continued success. The Festival wouldn’t exist were it not for these volunteers, many of whom have been involved in previous events. But it’s also important to note that we could always use more help and we’re always on the lookout for new blood to join the team – whether that’s in the organising and planning phase or volunteering during the Festival itself. Volunteering is its own satisfying reward and a great way of giving something back to this wonderful community we all live in. If you are interested and feel you have something or some time to offer, no matter how big or small, email and you’ll be welcomed with open arms.

One underlying principle of the Festival is to provide all round family fun for the whole weekend at modest expense. The music and entertainment events are all free and we strive to keep the price of rides and activities below usual commercial levels, particularly for children. Never has this principle been more important and more difficult to achieve however, than in the current challenging economic climate. There are significant overheads and expense in hosting a festival of this size relating to marquees, toilets, security etc. and it’s thanks mainly to a number of very loyal sponsors who contribute time and again that we have always been able to adhere to our affordability goals.

That said, we do need and are looking for further sponsors who may be interested in sponsoring the event. For any local business able to help and wishing to get involved, it’s a great way to engage with the local customer base; and your contribution would be widely recognised through event advertising. If this is something you would be able to help with please contact where yet more open arms await you.

Finally a quick reminder for the lifeblood of FECA, our member organisations. The Festival provides a unique and important opportunity for community groups and member organisations to not only raise vital funds but also to promote themselves and attract new members. If you represent one of our many and varied members, please take some time to think about how you would like to be involved in the Festival, whether it’s running a stall or competition, putting on a demonstration or something altogether different – now is the time to be planning it.

Based on all previous events, rest assured that it will all come together and the Fen Edge Festival 2024 will be a resounding success. Until then, have a great few months, stay safe and best wishes to you all.
Mark Hurworth