Horsham hosts first AmeriCARna festival on Sunday

Horsham Americana
Horsham Americana

Vehicles from the USA will be lining the streets of Horsham on Sunday (September 24) as the town hosts its first AmeriCARna.

Organised by Horsham District Council in partnership with local vehicle enthusiasts and Horsham Markets, the town’s first American themed festival will take place from 10am to 4pm in aid of St Catherine’s Hospice.

The festival will be a celebration of all things American and will showcase cars and bikes supported by themed stalls and live entertainments.

The event is aiming to reflect the 50s and 60s era and will feature entertainments based on this theme.

Visitors are being urged to get out their dancing dresses and drainpipes to get into the retro swing.

Live Music starts at 11am with cars arriving in groups throughout the morning.

More than 150 cars and some 30 bikes have registered to take part in the event and will be displayed in dedicated zones around the town from the Parkside council offices in Chart Way to the Bishopric and the Forum.

Commenting on the introduction of the new AmeriCARna festival, Cabinet Member for the Local Economy Cllr Gordon Lindsay said: “It is great news to welcome this new event to our already packed programme of festivals and events under the Horsham Time Well Spent banner.

“Set to rival our popular annual Easter festival, Piazza Italia, I am sure that this celebration of retro America will be just as entertaining and successful.

“I would encourage as many of you as possible to come along, don you retro costumes and join in the fun.”

If you are interested in NASCARS, classic and newer Corvettes, Mustangs, Firebirds and Camaros, Classic 50s and 60s cruisers, Customs, Hot Rods, old style Commercials, and custom American bikes, this could be the event for you.

Sunday’s entertainment includes two music stages at Parkside council offices and the Carfax Bandstand, presenting a programme of American inspired music and dance, assembled by Horsham Rocks.

A selection of bands and solo artists are playing from 11am to 3pm followed by a finale set from the Almost Elvis Band at the Bandstand.

American DJ, Sounds Entertainment will be bringing an authentic atmosphere to the Classic Muscle Car Zone in the Bishopric, playing alongside St Catherine’s Hospice.

The Horsham AmeriCARna Parkside Zone is the first outing for the new Horsham Rotary Club digital slot cars circuit, complete with authentic muscle cars. This will be running throughout the day alongside the Zone’s café, music stage, NASCAR and modern muscle car displays until 3pm.

The theme this year is 50s and 60s Rock’n’Roll years and everyone is encouraged to add to the fun by dressing in clothes that would reflect this era.

Local independent fashion stores, Retroesque and Apache Menswear are supporting the ‘dress up’ by providing prizes for the best dressed gal and guy on the day.

Entry will be by ‘selfie’ taken at the event and posted on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #horshamamericarna.

The winners will be announced at the Carfax bandstand just after the main car display leaves at 3.30pm.

Visitors can win either a £250 hamper or a supercar driving experience for one if they complete and enter the A-Plan Insurance Horsham AmeriCARna trail.

All you have to do is complete an entry form with your insurance renewal dates and which colours have been allocated to the car and bike display zones. (The colours will be visible on windscreen passes in each car and banners in each area.) The forms can be posted on the day at the St Catherine’s Hospice gazebo in the Bishopric Classic Muscle Car Zone or online via the event Facebook page.

The event has been made possible by collaboration between the council and commercial partners including A Plan Insurance, Max’s Diner (at Langhurst Wood Road), RetroEsque, and Apache Menswear. Also supporting the event are Horsham Car Centre JEEP, Tesla Motors, Dream Cars of Redhill and P&D Custom bikes all of which will have displays in and around the Carfax.