Preston Guild signs off in style
A week-long programme of events, held to honour the Preston Guild, has scored widespread praise with organisers saying the support of Lancashire’s businesses helped to make the festival a resounding success.
Trade is at the heart of the Guild’s heritage, and businesses throughout the city have been involved, with a significant number offering financial support through corporate sponsorship.
Amongst them, soft-furnishings company Plumbs - one of Preston’s oldest family businesses - sponsored The Spirit of ’42 Ball, one of the highlights of A Vintage Guild Weekend. Meanwhile, Eric Wright Group sponsored the Expo Tent on Miller Park, which played host to lots of arts, craft, fashion and film-related activities throughout the week. The Guild also kicked off with the high-profile BIBAs awards, which celebrated business success from around the county.
Stella Hall, Preston Guild 2012 festival director, said: “At its heart, the Guild is a celebration of business and trade, and this year has been no different.
“We have been delighted with the support of businesses of all types through supplying and sponsoring events, and taking part in festivities such as the trades’ procession."
Thousands of people packed out Avenham and Miller Parks, as well as sites across the city, during the ten-day festival programme, with high-profile events such as A Vintage Guild Weekend, Proms in the Park and G-Fest drawing in the crowds from far and wide. Highlights included the monumental Luminarium from Architects of Air, Championsheeps, Square Food Festival and the spellbinding circus from French company Compagnie Bam.
Young people also put on impressive performances at Blaze Festival, part of WE PLAY Expo and the North West Cultural Olympiad. The Boom Bike Big Band, a touring ensemble of musicians and performers, and The Chase, an urban arts performance involving bikers, skaters, free runners and graffiti artists, really demonstrated the breadth and scope of local up and coming talent.
However, tradition was not lost amongst the Guild’s youthful vision. The theme of Preston Guild 2012 was ‘looking back to look forward’, and this was achieved by a colourful array of floats and dancers during the trades and communities processions. Along with the proclamations and the Guild Court, these civic events stretch back hundreds of years and encapsulate what makes Preston Guild so unique.
Stella Hall added: "The Guild will not return to Preston for another twenty years, but the events of 2012 will live long in the memory.”
Local businesses contributed over £300,000 to Preston Guild 2012 through corporate sponsorship.