A motion tabled at a meeting of Oswestry Town Council on Wednesday, calling for a working group to be set up to look into the idea, was backed by members, who said the people of Oswestry wanted to see the event make a comeback.
Councillors voted last February in support of launching a scaled-down version of the one-day festival, but the pandemic put a halt to any further progress. Having run since 2000, Party in the Park was called off several years ago when councillors at the time decided it had grown out of control, with the last few events blighted by anti-social behaviour.
Deputy mayor Jay Moore, who brought the motion, said the event had “become a victim of its own success”, but that the triumph of the balloon festival had proven large-scale events could be managed successfully in Cae Glas Park. Councillor Moore said: “One of the things that brought this back for me was the success of the balloon carnival. We’ve all seen what a fantastic job they’re doing there.
“Well, take away some balloons and put in some bands. Everything else would pretty much be the same, we are just talking about changing the type of entertainment.
“This isn’t something I want to market as a knees-up – ‘let’s all go to the park and act irresponsibly’ Obviously it’s got to be managed, it’s got to be policed, it’s got to be safe. But I do think we can do it.
“The motion is just to look at having a meeting with the safety advisory group so that we can start to address all the obvious concerns the council is going to have about an event like this.
“We have proven we can put on a fantastic event with help from Nightingale House with the balloon festival. I believe we can do it in-house.”
Almost all councillors voted in support of the idea, with only mayor Mark Jones voting against.
He said: “From what I remember we can’t charge for people to get into Cae Glas, so we’re not going to make any money out of this.
“We’ve got the balloon festival which is fantastic, we’ve got the food festival next week as well. We’ve got a lot of events in Oswestry so I’m not really sure we need to do this.”
But other councillors disagreed. Councillor Sam Chadwick said: “Party in the Park has been a contentious issue with the public since it was stopped.
“I’ve lived in the community for all of my life, I grew up going to Party in the Park and it was a crying shame that it was cut.
“Ever since, every year we get the same question asked – ‘when is Party in the Park coming back?’
“It’s a great idea and it’s fully supported by the community. There is never going to be too many events for the town.”
Source: Shropshire Star, 13 September 2021.