This Easter weekend saw more visitors than ever flock to Horsham District Council’s Piazza Italia festival in Horsham town centre.
Horsham Piazza Italia is now recognised as the premier free to attend event in the south over the Easter Weekend. In its ninth year, the event showcased an even greater variety of cars, bikes, food and entertainment than ever before, truly providing something for all the family.
Horsham Piazza Italia Day by Day
Good Friday, traditionally known as Ferrari Friday, saw in the region of 100 spectacular Ferraris arrive in the Carfax to an enthusiastic welcome from the waiting crowds. Additionally, many extremely rare and stunning looking Italian motorbikes passed through the Carfax on their way to the Bishopric Ducati led display area.
Good Friday was also host to the La Vida fashion show in Piries Place which also featured Beales beauty demonstrations. Models on the day were given a makeover by Beauty Secrets of East Street.
This Good Friday marked the first time in many years that Horsham Piazza Italia was featured on television with a crew from the BBC South Today interviewing local businesses and filming the Ferrari parade. It was great for everyone to see Horsham being advertised as the place to be!
Easter Saturday saw the arrival of the fantastic classic Minis from ItalianJob.com who transported people back to the sixties and seventies with their groovy parade (novelty horns included), before energising Bishopric with their fun clock face display. The organisers were delighted with the response from drivers and public alike and plan to build on this display in future years.
New additions to Piazza Saturday this year were the Horsham Urban Children and Family Centres Children’s activity marquee on the Forum and the Children’s Trust Supercar volunteers and the ‘race ready team’ from Broadbridge Heath Garage which brought swathes of supercars to Market Square and East Street.
Saturday was also all about great entertainment and this is another area in which Piazza Italia had been developed to offer more to all ages and tastes. With the likes of Tony Strange’s characters and his team of brilliant entertainers, Mr Pavarotti, Dan the Hat and many operatic voices contributing to the party atmosphere, visitors were entertained with great shows in newly created performance spaces right across the town centre. A new weekend long commentary from Horsham’s very own, in-comparably eccentric Tim Fifield, kept visitors informed, engaged and amused.
Easter Monday was kicked off by a fantastic parade, organised by Lamborghini Sevenoaks, featuring 11 top of the range Lamborghinis, strutting powerfully through the Carfax before making their way to the Forum display area. The Horsham District Council event team said, “We are delighted to have them join the Piazza Italia family and look forward to having the Lamborghinis and all of our vehicle partners back next year!”
The sun made a massively welcome appearance on Monday and contributed to a truly fantastic day out. The whole town was packed full of fascinating vehicles, with a massive range of supercars and old and new Italian marques, including a new Abarth (souped-up Fiats) display conjured up by local dealer Horsham Car Centre, joined by scooters and stylish older Fiat 500s. This show was enjoyed by possibly the largest crowd ever seen in the history of Piazza Italia.
Overall the festival was a massive success, measured not just on how much the general public enjoyed the event, but also by how much local businesses benefitted by the increase in footfall throughout the town.
With survey feedback still being gathered, it’s looking like over a quarter of the event’s visitors were discovering Piazza Italia for the first time with up to half of those visiting coming from out of town. Most importantly given the objectives, two thirds are saying that Horsham Piazza Italia gave them more reason to return to Horsham in the future. Examples of feedback gathered from the event include:
“This is a great event so well done!”
“Piazza is the best day ever!”
“Really cool and hilarious Italian singer” (Mr.Pavarotti).
The council’s event team also received enquiries from several Italian and English vehicle owners groups who would all like to participate in future events giving the team the opportunity for even more interest to be created.
At a time when high streets are in decline across the UK, one of the main goals for Piazza Italia is to put Horsham on the map for year round visitors, creating huge awareness building opportunities for all of the locally based businesses. Not only did Horsham Piazza Italia attract people from far and wide it also gave residents an even greater reason to be proud of their town and its community.
Horsham District Council Town Centre and Event Manager Garry Mortimer-Cook said, “Whilst Horsham District Council is proud to lead the organisation of this now regionally significant event, Horsham Piazza Italia is without doubt a tribute to the partnership we have with a massive team of fantastic vehicle organisers, commercial sponsors and voluntary and business supporters who make the event possible. We thank each and every one of them for enabling us to make this happen for Horsham. We are already planning for the tenth Piazza Italia to be a very special experience. Piazza Italia 10 will take place on 25 – 28 March 2016 so put it in your diary now so you don’t miss it!”
The 2015 Piazza Italia sponsor and partner team includes, but not exclusively:
Bluecoat Sports, Horsham Car Centre, Lifestyle Group (Mazda), My World Films, Prezzo, Addspeed, AToM, Broadbridge Heath Garage, The Children’s Trust, Guy Leonard & Co, La Vida, Lamborghini Sevenoaks, Mancini Legal, Meridien Modena, Smart Park, Sony Centre, Stay Safe Driving, Toy Barnhaus, Vines of Gatwick, Washington Coachworks, BBC Radio, Beales Department Store, Beauty Secrets, BritWeb, Capitol Horsham, Chestnut Tree House, Hepworth & Co Brewery, Hillier Horsham, Horsham Churches Together, Horsham Enoteca, Horsham Markets, Horsham Museum, Horsham Urban Children and Family Centres, Italian Job.com, La Source, Motori di Marino, Italia in Piazza, Rotary Club of Horsham, Spirit, Steamer Trading, Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance, Sussex Safer Roads Partnership, Swan Walk, Balfour Beatty, Bullseye Scooter Club, Tim Fifield, Sussex Ferrari Owners Club, Ducati Owners Club (GB), South Lodge Hotel, Alfa Romeo Owners Club Central Sussex and Faygate Alfa Romeo, Fiat Coupe Club,
For further information visit:
Please take part in the event Feedback Survey with a chance to win some great prizes!
To help us make Piazza Italia better for you please fill in our survey at www.horshampiazzaitalia.co.uk/2015-feedback
If you are a business, Italian vehicle owner group or voluntary organisation and interested in taking part in Horsham Piazza Italia 10 please email firstname.lastname@example.org