Thousands enjoy Party in the Park event in Melton

Tom Webster gets a sponge soaking from MARS work colleagues Alan Gregson and Richard Hill at the Party in the Park in Melton EMN-170407-115453001
Tom Webster gets a sponge soaking from MARS work colleagues Alan Gregson and Richard Hill at the Party in the Park in Melton EMN-170407-115453001

Organisers of Saturday’s Party in the Park event in Melton said it went beyond their wildest dreams with up to 4,000 people helping to raise thousands of pounds for charity.

It took employees of the town’s Mars Petcare company four months to organise with a packed programme of family-orientated activities, including a dog show, displays and a wide range of stalls.

Five-year-old Hazel Ashby takes her face painting session seriously EMN-170407-115516001

Five-year-old Hazel Ashby takes her face painting session seriously EMN-170407-115516001

The day raised £5,368 for Rainbows Hospice, Hounds for Heroes and Pets As Therapy with that figure set to be doubled with match-funding from Mars.

Andy MacDonald, who organised the event with four colleagues, said: “I couldn’t believe the crowds - from 10 in the morning it was packed and there were still people there listening to the music at five when we were packing away.

“I wanted to create something like the old Melton Day for the town and we smashed it.”

One of the highlights of the day was a dog show and dog agility event in the main arena, in Play Close.

Pirate shipmates Pat Mulligan, Miranda Grummitt, Vicky Padgett and Katie Hunter EMN-170407-115527001

Pirate shipmates Pat Mulligan, Miranda Grummitt, Vicky Padgett and Katie Hunter EMN-170407-115527001

Andy said: “We probably put on the biggest dog show Melton has ever seen.

“We had hundreds of dogs there from far and wide with one coming down from Scunthorpe.”

It was totally free to attend with another attraction proving to be a climbing tower brought along by Melton Scouts.

Melton Indoor Bowls Club invited people to have a go at the sport and signed up new members as did players from Melton Basketball Club.

Awaiting the judge's decision at the dog show at Melton's Party in the Park EMN-170407-115539001

Awaiting the judge's decision at the dog show at Melton's Party in the Park EMN-170407-115539001

Crowds were also thrilled by performances from Melton’s Performing Stars Academy.

The whole event was on a much bigger scale than the company’s inaugural Party in the Park last year which raised £1,751 for charities.

Andy, who said they would be holding it again next summer, added: “We had fabulous weather, we advertised it more this year and there was a lot more for the kids to do.

“There were 70 associates of Mars volunteering their services on the day and to be able to look around that park and see so many people enjoying themselves was a proud moment for us.

Performing Stars and Classic Cars in Play Close, Melton, during the Party in the Park EMN-170407-115551001

Performing Stars and Classic Cars in Play Close, Melton, during the Party in the Park EMN-170407-115551001

“As a company we would like to say a huge thank you to people in Melton for supporting the event.”