Driffield NewsNEWS

Festival of the Unicorn at Sledmere House re-arranged

Organisers of the Festival of the Unicorn have appealed for the continued support of the people of Driffield and the Wolds after the magical fundraising event had to be postponed due to adverse weather and waterlogged ground.

The Festival of the Unicorn, in aid of Elsie’s Appeal, will now take place on Sunday 30th April with all of the arrangements still taking place on the new date.

The event, which will take place in the grounds of Sledmere House, will include a parade of more than 100 unicorns which will take place at 1pm.

Taking the difficult decision to postpone the festival, which was due to take place on Good Friday, organiser Natalie Ibbitson-Garvey said the conditions of the ground made it impossible to be able to go ahead.

She said: “With the rain we had, the ground was just too wet and we couldn’t have accommodated all of the vehicles on it.

“We want to make this the best event we possible can for Elsie and so we had to make the difficult decision to postpone the festival until 30th April.

“The arrangements will be the same as they were – the same place and the same times – it is just a different date.

“We just desperately hope that everyone will still be able to come along to the event and continue to show their amazing support.”

The Festival of the Unicorn is being organised in aid of Elise’s Appeal, a fund set up by the parents of 10-year-old Elsie from Driffield who was diagnosed with CLN3 Batten disease in December 2021.

It is a progressive condition that results in the gradual loss of sight, the ability to walk, talk and swallow, and the occurrence of complex seizures that are difficult to manage.

This rare life-limiting disease affects roughly 1 in 50,000 children.

Elsie’s parents Phil Smith and Caroline Parrish launched Elsie’s Appeal to help give their daughter as many fun experiences and memories while she can still enjoy them fully and to help meet her needs in the longer term by building a specialist extension at home which will support her care going forwards.

The idea for the Festival of the Unicorn came from Elsie’s obsession with all things magical and her wish to see a real unicorn.

After hearing about Elsie’s wish, Natalie from The Tack Shed in Driffield put out an appeal to the equine community for a unicorn to make Elsie’s dream come true and the offers came flooding in and the festival grew from there.

More than 100 unicorns have registered to take part in the parade, and an application has also been made for a Guinness World Record attempt on the day for the most equines dressed as unicorns in one place.

As well as the unicorn parade, the fun event will also feature bouncy castles, face painting, hair braiding, games, raffles, tombolas, games and an auction. Entertainment will also take place in the main ring from the Pony Club and the Highmoor Bloodhounds adding to the fun.

The Festival of the Unicorn will now take place at the fireworks/Tribfest events field at Sledmere House on Sunday 30th April from 10am until 4pm. The unicorn parade will take place at 1pm.

Tickets are available on the gate priced £2.50 for adults and £1.50 for under 16s. All proceeds are for Elsie’s Appeal. Please note this is a cash only event.

You do not need tickets for Sledmere House and Gardens to access the event.

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