This morning we went to Eastleigh and spent two hours there.
An event called Eastleigh Mardi Gras took place in the town centre – a day of live music and entertainment with a post-war theme: “The war is over! It’s time to party!”
I discovered the event by chance last year, and wrote Eastleigh Mardi Gras 2014: Fun, Joy, Charities for Community.
There seemed to be 3 things happening in Eastleigh town today:
- Music, children play area, charities doing fundraising, and a military vehicle display by SOE – Solent Overlord Executive Military Collectors Club
- Vintage Market
- Parade around town in the evening
In the morning, we explored the delightful Vintage Market in Eastleigh’s re-developed Market Place. It’s the first Vintage Market in Eastleigh town, with about 40 vintage themed stalls covering a range of clothing, jewellery, homeware, and gifts.
I bought a special 100-year-old postcard (£7) for my father-in-law from a gentleman selling badges (I think some of them are military badges, but why would people not keep them as family treasures?), old postcards, stamps, and vintage posters.
At Leigh Road Recreation Ground, I came across an interesting stall promoting EU: the European Commission Representation in the United Kingdom. I found out some work the organisation does, and more importantly, I got some freebies.
Eastleigh College was very engaging with visitors. Students were making lovely pancakes, and I was also given two discount vouchers for lunch and dinner at Eastleigh College’s restaurant. The food will be prepared by the students. I’ve heard a lot of good things about their catering, so will definitely book a table soon.
The Vintage Market was organised in partnership with Yellow Vintage, renowned around the south for their popular vintage fairs, such as the Ageas Bowl.
Live music from the talented Southampton Concert Wind Band, Uke Band, Stepping Out Academy of Performing Arts, and Eastleigh Fusion Choir was enjoyable.
Mardi Gras Eastleigh: the parade
The parade took place from 5pm. One of Chandler’s Ford Today’s writers, Chippy Minton, sent me an email this evening (while I was getting ready for the new Doctor Who series) with some photos of the parade.
Chippy Minton said he had only just caught the procession by chance. Thank you for these photos. The Hampshire police officer looked totally amazing in that fancy vehicle.
Suggestion: A new name for the great event?
I have a suggestion to the organiser of Mardi Gras. Though I love this event, and I’m thankful for the hard work of so many people who organise such a fantastic day for the community, I would like you to consider changing the name of the event.
Calling a day of entertainment for family in September “Mardi Gras” is just not quite right.
Traditionally Mardi Gras (or Fat Tuesday in French) is a Christian holiday, commonly known as Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Day or Pancake Tuesday in the UK. Mardi Gras normally takes place around February or March each year.
Pancake Day, Shrove Tuesday, Mardi Gras – whatever you call it – is the last day before the period which Christians call Lent, a period of abstinence.
The Eastleigh “Mardi Gras” event is brilliant, popular, and well loved. We need an appropriate name to match its brilliance.
When you have an appropriate name for this carnival, festive type event, people would not have to ask the same question each year: “Why? Mardi Gras in September? You must be joking.”
Perhaps the organiser could have a competition to help think of a better name?
What do the readers think of this suggestion?
— Sonja Davison (@jstpumpkin) September 19, 2015
Were you in Eastleigh town today? I hope you had a great day today. Share what you saw, the atmosphere, and what you think could improve this event.
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