The two days of Horsham’s 13th Piazza Italian festival presented the perennial blend of supercars and Italian cars, Italian market stalls and street food, themed entertainments and business promotions greatly boosted by a blast of glorious sunshine throughout.
Built into the event’s scheduling, Good Friday’s Horsham Churches Together bandstand service and Walk of Witness procession drew a massive audience who got the Carfax off to a rousing start accompanied by the surrounding bustle of the already trading market and street food stalls, all decked out in their Italian finery.
Hundreds of supercars did their best to dominate proceedings but had the show stolen from them on both days by the most diminutive of all the car participants. Huge cheers and applause were reserved for the departure of the classic Fiat 500s and 30thAnniversary Italian Job Minis on Good Friday and the sole green Fiat 126 from Horsham Barbershop on Monday. (Britain so loves an underdog!) A brilliant bouquet of Italian bikes also set the pulses racing as they roared through.
Horsham District Year of Culture had boosted the event’s entertainments this year on Good Friday with a brilliant opera singer and roving accordion player. On Easter Monday was an Italian jazz trio and more amazing opera. Much applause accompanied all the performances with several couples seen dancing to the swinging jazz.
Quite a few town businesses chose to take advantage of the event too, including Crates Local Produce, Carmela Deli, Paninos and The Horsham Cellar all of whom were offering something special in keeping with the weekend.
Horsham Time Well Spent events annual sponsors were well to the fore with Brock Taylor hosting the amazing Sporting Bears team who fielded an incredible selection of cars for charity ride outs both days raising some £5,680 for Chestnut Tree House and The Children’s Trust – an event record.
Recently rebranded Impact Specialist Finance sponsored the departure gate and Cote Brasserie presented the first of five Concours d’Elegance awards for best turned out vehicles at Horsham’s 2019 events – the award on Easter Monday going to the owner of an immaculate 30-year-old Ferrari 328GTS.
Henfield Van Hire & Storage who had provided the event team transport donated their hire fee to the children’s charities and Billy’s Transport presented their car trailering service to drivers attending the event.
Premier GT of Washington excelled themselves on Easter Monday presenting a town full of high-value cars that numbered over 120. All but the pickiest couldn’t have failed to be impressed by the waves of Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Maseratis parading through the Carfax which were joined by a large McLaren and Porsche contingent that had been billed as England v Germany supercars.
2019’s Piazza Italia welcomed the return of show compere, the incomparable Tim Fifield, social media through the weekend was driven by By Jove Media working closely with Tim for live streaming reports to keep people who couldn’t be there abreast of all the action.
Event organiser Horsham District Council wishes to thank all commercial and voluntary participants for working together to give the town people and its businesses such an enjoyable weekend. Special thanks go to ETMS and SERV Sussex for the excellent traffic management services they provided and our event sponsors Kwik Fit, Premier GT, Bishops (part of FGB Barnes Group) and Bunny Motors.
Plans for a huge town event programme, supported by the Council in keeping with the Year of Culture celebrations are now in full swing with a “magnificent seven” in prospect before the end of September, capped by the greatly expanded Horsham AmeriCARna event on Sunday 29 September.
Horsham’s Great British Weekend is the next major Horsham Time Well Spent event in the town with a day full of marvellous Morris dancing mayhem on Saturday 11 May and a day packed full of British favourites on Sunday 12 May including Loxwood Joust, traction engines, music and dance, classic British cars from Sadcase and Aston Martin Owners Club Area 16.
Many thanks to Toby Phillips Photography for the photo.