COLUMNIST: Mella Faye Punchard, Adur Festival launch

WOW! What a brilliant start to the festival. Despite heavy rainfall at midday, all three street parties were a huge success.

By 2.30pm, the sun was burning off the rain and the streets were thronged with families. Children reclaimed the tarmac with chalk drawings, and all were joyfully entertained by all species of creature, including a hula hooping preying mantis, a giant snail, three muscular Tanzanian acrobatic limbo dancers, and our programme cover star Ludwig the Superstar Prawn and his motley collection of friends.

The district-wide formula of street arts, community activity and real ale proved a successful way to celebrate this great community festival, and early feedback makes me think that it shouldn’t just be a one off, but instead perhaps a new local tradition.

Feedback from participants, artists and audiences really helps us to process what we’re doing and gives us the opportunity to constantly improve. There’s a big festival debrief planned at Ropetackle Centre at 6pm on June 11 to do exactly that. So however much or little you’ve seen or contributed, we’d love you to join us and share your thoughts.

Looking ahead to the weekend, one of my favourite films is on at Ropetackle – Where The Wild Things Are, painting an atmospheric portrait of what it is to survive childhood.

Adur Art Trail begins on Saturday and to celebrate, a huge Adur beast is to be built across the Shoreham footbridge. This is a community arts activity and you’re encouraged to come along with any bits of unwanted junk and add it to the expanding torso of the beast.

Glastonwick runs over the weekend. Its popularity is ever growing, with all full weekend tickets sold out. There’s availability still for day tickets on Friday and Sunday.

Adur Outdoor Activity Centre will be running a series of taster sessions for many of their activities, each for only a minimal cost.

The Strange Creature Pop Up Pet Shop is open all weekend for free family fun at the Sompting Big Local Hub. If you visit on Saturday, you will have the pleasure of meeting the eccentric pet shop owner himself and witness his absurd antics as he brings your creatures to life.

At the time of writing, sunshine is forecast for Saturday and Sunday, perfect for one of the many festival walks on offer in Shoreham, including Sinister History, Hidden Shoreham Revealed and a Wildflower Walk on Shoreham Beach.

If you’re up for a more relaxed weekend pursuit, visit Ginger & Dobbs for poetry or Verda Houseboat for a talk by Angus Whitty on his Plastic Beaches project. For day by day listings visit