The opening day of the Stone Festival saw a fabulous Teddy Bear Picnic in the Market Square at Stone, organised again by Stone and District Rotary Club. Following on from last year’s successful picnic, the Rotary Club decided to expand the event and were able to secure benches for the picnickers and additional treats as well as increasing the number of free picnics for the visitors. This year’s Teddy Bear Picnic was also well-attended and featured book readings in the Library by Rotary Club members, face painting and puppet performances by the Staffordshire Puppet Tree. The weather was fantastic so families were able to enjoy their picnics in the sun. The Rotary Club provided 75 free picnic bags for children who came along with teddies so a great time was had by all. For those without their own Teddies, a local donor gave us some to give to children to look after on the day, and then take home and keep.
The new Stone Town Council Mayor, Councillor Jim Davis came along to award prizes for the best teddies. As last year, the oldest bear at the picnic was Edward, now 74 years old but this time wearing a new outfit made especially for the event.
Victoria Fern, incoming President of the Stone and District Rotary Club and Joint Chair of the Festival Committee was delighted with how the event ran. She said: “We were really pleased that we were able to include a face painting booth and puppet show this year. Fellow Rotarian Bob Knight was one of the first to have a face paint to match his springer spaniels!”
“All the additions made a great difference, families stayed longer and had a great time. We greatly appreciate the support that we received from Stone Town Library, Stone Town Traders, All Seasons and the Secret Tea Room. Thanks too to our fantastic Rotary Club members who came along to read stories and help.”
This was the first event in a packed calendar for the 2023 Stone Festival and Carnival and it is hoped that it will have a regular place in Festival plans in the future.