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Activities ensure Easter weekend is a success for the town centre

An Easter ‘eggsperience’ ensured a cracking time for everyone in busy Bognor Regis town centre.

 

The shopping area’s biggest programme of events to mark the first bank holiday after the winter was another triumph.

 

An array of activities, added to the constant sunshine and temperatures up to 27C, ensured plenty of activity around the London Road area.

 

The Easter celebration was the first to be staged by Bognor Regis Business Improvement District (BID) members.

 

BID chairman Paul Wells said: “We had a whole weekend programme of fun alongside the switch on and fireworks by the Bognor Regis Seafront Lights.

 

“Our day of activities on Saturday in the town centre, with the Spirit FM roadshow, gave the area a real holiday feel.

 

“The sun shone as well and the whole day was absolutely brilliant.

 

“This was all about bringing the town centre to life. It’s about promoting footfall and encouraging people to spend their money with the retailers here, the coffee shops and the restaurants.

 

“The longer people stay in the town centre, the more money they are likely to spend.

 

“We want to bring the town centre up to a level of expectation where people want to visit here and a have good time.

 

“The events we held during the day perfectly complemented the funfair on the seafront and the fireworks and illuminations switch-on at night.”

 

The weekend’s ‘eggstravaganza’ came after the success of the BID’s programme of entertainment last Christmas.

 

This helped footfall numbers in the town centre to buck the national decline in the amount of shoppers visiting high streets.

 

The main Easter event in the bustling town centre from last Thursday to Sunday was the bunny hop rabbit hunt.

 

Entrants had to find 20 rabbits hidden in Bognor Regis shops and write their names on the back of the promotional leaflet.

 

The rabbits were decorated by children in the area who ran a competition run by town centre shop Unique Knit and Sew during the Easter holiday.

 

A total of 100 rabbits were judged and the best 20 were chosen for the bunny hunt.

 

The winner of the hunt was selected at random in a lucky dip.

 

Street performances throughout last Saturday also added to the holiday mood.

 

Chic Eggs and Fairy Performance took to the precinct three times during Saturday morning and afternoon followed by the Mad Hatter and Jovial Rabbit.

 

The Mad Hatter kept spectators of all ages enthralled with his juggling skills and chatter.

 

A mobility scooter parade was staged by Queensway shop Mobility and Comfort after the success of their initial procession at Christmas.

 

Ten of the scooter owners took part in the town centre tour in their specially decorated vehicles. They were joined by children, dressed in Easter costumes.

 

Mobility and Comfort owner Micky Donnelly said: “We’re doing this to have a lot of fun. We had the same number of scooters at Christmas and, even though it was windy and raining, everyone had a great time.

 

“They all said they wanted to do it again and we’ve got some children with us this time as well.

 

“Everyone who was out in the town centre last time, apart from one person, who said they couldn’t get past, absolutely loved the parade.”

 

One of those who took part at Christmas and was back again was Gainsboro Road resident Maureen Matthews.

 

The 75-year-old said: “It was a great time at Christmas and I really enjoyed it. I didn’t get wet because I wore waterproof clothing.

 

“We had a good reaction from people, who were pleased to see us. Everyone who took part was really friendly and I’m looking forward to taking part again.”

 

BID administrator Heather Allen said the Easter success would pave the way for more special occasions in the town centre.

 

“The day has gone really well with a fantastic turnout.We are going to be doing other events in the summer.

 

“We want to bring people into the High Street and for the High Street to be a vibrant part of the community,” she said.

 

“We want it to be a place that people want to come to”

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