Review of Hale Barns Carnival 2023 (Daytime)
I decided to visit Hale Barns Carnival on Saturday 22nd July at 2pm. It's free entry in the daytime.
I walk through the entrance gate and I am handed a programme by one of the staff. In the programme it describes how the carnival is in its 7th year, also that it is not for profit and raises funds for community and charity projects. Advertisers in it include St. Ambrose schools, Happy Radio, Benchmark Security and more.
The event is held in the playing fields of St. Ambrose College. It has rained all morning and it's a bit muddy so not many people have turned up today.
The first stall I come across has 3 people sat on chairs under a gazebo with a sign saying Holy Angels Church. I stop for a chat and end up talking for about 15 minutes with a friendly lady. She was also encouraging people to write down a prayer and stick it on a small wooden tree-shaped structure.
Next I walk past a large selection of hot food stalls ranging from burgers and chips (including chips with cheese) to noodles. Prices are about 8 to 10 pounds per main course meal. I've just eaten so I don't try anything.
I enter the audience area for the main stage. A band is playing classic hits from the 80's and 90's. While I'm here, one of the songs I recognise is "Friday I'm in Love" by The Cure. The band is very good. I won't be visiting the evening concert tonight, but they have a quality sound system and I'm sure it would be a good night.
Next to the main stage is a selection of about 4 Mercedes cars parked for people to see. As I'm looking at the Mercedes S-Class a lady in her 30's says:
Promoter Lady: "Hi. Would you like to sit in it?"
Me: "No thanks. Can I look inside?"
Promoter Lady: "Sure."
So I open the door of the Mercedes S350 and decide it looks nice, but there isn't much to see - just seats and lots of screens.
Me: "How much is it?"
Promoter Lady: "130,000."
Me: "It's out of my price range."
I'm talking to the promoter lady for about 10 minutes - she's really nice and friendly. Then I say bye and go towards the stalls near the centre of the field.
There's a cake stall (2.50 for a slice of cake). At the next stall I go past a lady walks up to me and smiles.
Her: "Hi. We're promoting the Marriott Hotel in Hale Barns."
Her: "Here's a leaflet."
I look at the leaflet.
Her: "We're offering 15% off meeting rooms with the leaflet."
Me: "How much is a meeting room?"
Her: "200 pounds a day."
Me: "I only want a room for 2 hours."
Her: "We only rent them for the day."
Me: "I'd only want one for 2 hours though."
We talk for a few minutes. The Marriott in Hale Barns is a quality venue, it's a shame they aren't more flexible about the times you can hire a meeting room.
I continue looking at more stalls. There's one selling ice cream, another selling different flavours of candy floss.
I walk past a stall that says "Black Opal". A lady greets me:
Me: "Hi. Are you based in Hale Village?"
Her: "Yes. Have you seen us there? We're a travel agents. Sometimes people don't notice us because of the way it looks from the outside. It's very nice and comfortable inside."
Me: "There used to be quite a few travel agents in Hale didn't there?"
Her: "Yes. Two of the ladies that used to work at Omega Travel now work with us."
(Omega Travel closed down a few years ago)
We chat a while about Hale Village. She's very polite, friendly, and makes Black Opal travel agents come across as very professional. It's true that the shop in Hale isn't very obvious. If you ever want to book a holiday it's worth going to Black Opal Travel Agents for a more personal service.
Having looked around the stalls, I take a few photos of the fairground. Now I'm leaving and I have another chat with the friendly lady as I pass the Holy Angels Church stall on the way out.
Overall it's a well organised event with a big choice of food stalls, constant entertainment from bands on the main stage, and for the younger people there's a fairground. If you live nearby or are visiting the local area I recommend going, even if the weather isn't very good.
Below is a picture of the big wheel and some rides.
This next picture is of more rides at the funfair
The main stage where the bands play.
This final picture is of some of the stalls.