A VILLAGE day is celebrating its ruby anniversary this year, 40 years to the day after the first event.
Hundreds of people are expected to attend the Bunbury community event at the Jubilee Playing Fields on Saturday, June 20.
Committee member Leila Potter hosted the first Bunbury Village Day in the back garden of her Victorian home, Foxdale, on Friday, June 20, 1969.
She said: “At the first event more than 3,000 people attended, it was fantastic. We planned for one day with floats, stalls, a glamorous granny competition and a bonniest baby. The day ended with a barbecue and a dance.
“Harry Woodward, our athletic milkman, climbed the pole in the dance marquee and was rather unsteady coming down due to the beer he enjoyed before the climb.
“A gang of rockers in black leathers and studs arrived on motorbikes and roared into the gardens attempting to disrupt the festivities. The leader of the tug of war team and friends stopped them.”
The tradition was started after the village’s centuries old wakes weeks which historically included bear bating, donkey racing, wrestling, snuff-taking and archery.
“Bunbury is a very special place and when we started we wanted to welcome the new people to the village and make them feel at home,” added Leila, who will officially open this year’s event.
“It’s also important that we continue to support the village and its amenities.”
This year’s event will start with a parade at 12.30pm followed by a whole host of events throughout the day.
Johnathon Turner, committee member, said: “Due to many successful years service and family commitments, practically the whole committee from last year’s festival resigned so it almost didn’t happen, but we want this year’s to really be something.
“It is important it keeps its routes as a community event for the community by the community. We want to show what a great place Bunbury is. It’s an opportunity to get people together.”
Tickets for the 2009 Bunbury Village Day cost £2.50 on the door, £2 in advance, and U16s go free.
For more information visit www.bunburyvillage.info.