The success of Sunday’s third annual Paint The Town Red event in Melton has convinced its organiser that it can become as big as the town’s Victorian Christmas Fayre, which she also runs.
Sharon Astill said the healthy turnout - including many visitors from outside the borough - the quality of entertainment and the feedback from attendees indicated the special day had a bright future.
The latest event featured a packed programme of activities, ranging from a fun dog show and demonstrations by craftworkers to live song and dance and sales of local food and drink.
The fun also started earlier this year with Round Corner Brewing putting on their own Paint The Town Red ‘Festival of Red’ event, for customers at their premises in Melton Livestock Market on Saturday, brewing a special beer for the occasion called Notorious Hooligan.
Mrs Astil said: “The numbers attending were fantastic this year and the weather was much kinder than it would have been on the Saturday, when it was very hot.
“Speaking to the traders, there were a lot of people coming to the show from further afield this time.
“That makes me think that there is potential for it to become as big as the Victorian fayre where we can encourage coach-loads of people to come to it.
“The success of this year has really inspired me to try and take it even further as an event.”
It is called Paint The Town Red after the popular expression, which was borne out of events in Melton in 1837 involving the Marquis of Waterford and a group of his friends.
They were said to have returned from a boozy day at the races and daubed buildings across the town centre in red after finding pots of paint on the street.
The intention of the event, which was sponsored this year by Samworth Brothers and Melton BID, is for local people to have similarly riotous fun but, of course, in a more respectful way.
Among the highlights this year included the opportunity for the public to get up close and personal to birds of prey, rare breed sheep, chickens and alpacas and watch a demonstration of bee-keeping.
A fleet of classic cars were on display on Nottingham Street and a selection of heritage crafters showed off their impressive skills - a donation from the Melton Times/Ragdale Spa Make It Happen Fund paid for a coracle maker, basket weaver and copper to attend.
Young people from Performing Stars Academy and Asfordby Primary School strutted their stuff on stage and attendees had a good selection of stalls and stands to buy local produce from.
There was plenty to do for children, including the ever-popular climbing wall, hired from Melton Scouts and funded again this year by Melton Mowbray Building Society.
Staff at Melton Carnegie Museum brought along a number of vintage toys and Rutland Book Nook created a cosy corner for children to sit and read.
“The dog show generated a lot of interest and the children’s play zone in the Market Place was a huge success this year,” added Mrs Astill.
“A lot of people sat and played games with the children and it worked really well as a safe, quiet place for them to enjoy themselves.
“A lot of what we put on, with the animals, the local produce and the craftwork, was to tell the story of Melton and to educate people about the countryside.
“I think Paint The Town Red has become something special for Melton - it’s a free show and it’s great family entertainment throughout the day.”
The event will be held next year on Sunday June 28 and funding is already being sought, to maintain the quality of attractions and to take it on even further.
Email Mrs Astill at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in contributing sponsorship towards the next Paint The Town Red and gain exposure for your organisation at the same time.