A huge party is taking place this weekend to celebrate the restoration of East Park to its former glory.

Type=image;ImageID=3944;ImageClass=left;ImageTitle=The restored East Park bandstand;TitleClass=strong;

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Type=image;ImageID=3943;ImageClass=left;ImageTitle=Members of the East Park Extravaganza Committee;TitleClass=strong;

The popular Victorian park, off Hickman Avenue, has undergone a £1.5million transformation, bringing back original features that would have been familiar to visitors when it first opened in 1896.

The work, supported by a £981,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, began in early 2012 and has seen the terraces, boathouses, entrances, clock tower and bandstand all restored.

To celebrate its renaissance, Wolverhampton City Council and the East Park Management and User Groups are staging a free family fun day on Sunday (4 May, 2014).

The East Park Extravaganza takes place from 10am to 5pm and features fairground attractions, entertainment, theatrical performances and even an appearance by Queen Victoria.

Highlights include Victorian swing boats, Maypole dancing by pupils from East Park Primary School, brass band music, Punch and Judy and more than 30 stalls. Two plays will be performed during the day - Daisy, Daisy and We All Love a Paddle - and there is a chance for visitors to take part in fun and games and win prizes for the best period costumes.

Meanwhile, Wolverhampton Archives and Local Studies will be presenting an exhibition detailing the history of the park, experts will be on hand to talk about the restoration work which has been carried out, and volunteers will lead environmental and history themed walks around the park.

Wolverhampton City Council's Constituency Officer Mac McCoig, who is organising the fun day, said: "The East Park Extravaganza aims to showcase the history of the park and its renaissance through the fantastic restoration work which has taken place over the last couple of years.  We've lined up a wide range of attractions for the whole family, and so we're hoping as many people as possible can join us to celebrate this wonderful park."

Chris Jones from Wolverhampton's Parks Development Team which has overseen the work, added: "The restoration of East Park has long been an ambition for the city council and we were delighted to receive the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund to enable us to carry out this important work.

"The restoration programme has brought back to life a number of historic buildings and features around the park, and also enabled us to carry out a wide variety of horticultural improvements which have improved the overall appearance of the park, so that it can once again rival West Park as a jewel in Wolverhampton's crown."

The East Park Extravaganza takes place from 10am to 5pm on Sunday (4 May, 2014), with the official opening at 10.45am. An extensive programme of events is scheduled throughout the day.

Admission is free and visitors can purchase a souvenir brochure for £2, packed with information and pictures about the park and its history which will also include entry into a prize draw. Proceeds will go to a number of charities including the RNLI, to celebrate the fact that the lifeboat Mary Stanford was brought to East Park Boating Lake in 1903.

For more information, about the event, please call Mac McCoig on 01902 551783 or e-mail mac.mccoig@wolverhampton.gov.uk.

  • released: Tuesday 29 April, 2014