Shoreham gets set for ‘highlight of the year’ family festival

The parade at Beach Dreams Festival in 2016
The parade at Beach Dreams Festival in 2016

The ‘highlight of the year’ in Shoreham is approaching in the form of the annual Beach Dreams festival.

Now in its 16th year, preparations are being finalised ahead of the three-day community event on Beach Green, Shoreham Beach, which kicks off on Friday (July, 14).

This year’s theme will be flower power, after a voting competition saw it beat rival themes Wild West and Space.

Organiser Sarah Parker said: “It’s a big event and a nice family event.”

Celebrations start with a launch party on Friday at 4pm.

The afternoon will see football activities before a family disco and games.

There will be a bubble show followed by an impressive fire show to mark the end of the evening.

“The launch party is always a really fun evening, a chilled out family affair, which is a nice beginning,” Sarah said.

One of the most popular parts of the festival, the children’s parade, takes place on Saturday morning (July 15).

The parade starts from Shoreham Beach Primary School in Shingle Road, leaving promptly at 11am, and from The Church of the Good Shepherd, leaving at 11.15am.

The procession will take pupils to Beach Green, accompanied by a lively samba band, where they will plant their home-made flowers into a Beach Dreams flower garden in front of the stage.

“The children’s parade is amazing and colourful,” said Sarah.

“They generally make a really big effort.”

The rest of the afternoon will see local bands – including Sarah Chapman, Sweetmates, Burning Organ and Krafty Kuts – perform on the main stage.

The Shoreham Allstars, a collective of young musicians, will also perform on their own stage.

Sunday’s festival will be a more ‘mellow’ affair, with more musical acts such as Mike Panteli and The Koan Brothers, as well as a reptile zoo.

All the events over the weekend are free to attend.

The festival is run by a ‘lovely set’ of eight volunteers, who ask that no glass is brought to the festival site.

The festival is being held later in the year than previous events, which means that students have now finished their exams.

The later date could also mean more luck in terms of weather.

Sarah said: “We are hoping for sunshine!”