Monday, 11 July 2011

Pandamonium in the Park

July the 9th was my son's 2nd birthday, it was also the date of Pandamonium in the Park, a family friendly festival   held at Althorp House in Northamptonshire. Sainsbury's teamed up with Dreamworks to put on a day with a Chinese flavour in celebration of the cinematic release of Kung Fu Panda. It seemed like the perfect day out to celebrate Freddy's special day.

I was extremely honoured to be a VIP guest of Cadbury which meant that not only did we get in to the festival, we also had access to the beautifully themed VIP tent where amazing Chinese food and other refreshments were served in very plush surroundings.  We rubbed shoulders with the Chinese Ambassador and other dignitaries, whilst enjoying the wonderful hospitality!

Althorp house was a wonderful venue for the event and the sun was shining.  The festival was supported by a whole host of household brands, Finish, Vanish, Kellogg's, Crusha, Baking, Jammie Dodgers, Flora and of course Cadbury.  Every brand had a family orientated activity zone offering cookery demonstrations, cake decorating, crafts, fun and games for everyone to enjoy.

Cadbury Spots vs Stripes Minute to Win it Games
Making Kellogg's Rice Krispie Cakes
The Crusha Milkshake Parlour
Natural Confectionery Company Arts and Crafts activities.
Vanish Splash Attack
Chinese entertainers performed throughout the day, the ultimate of which were the Chen Brothers whose Dragon Dance is renowned world wide.  The skill involved as the two man dragon jumped across a series of thin poles to a dramatic musical accompaniment was breathtaking.

Huge kites shaped like dragons and tigers flew in the sky.  Shaolin Monks and martial arts experts gave demonstrations, giving a real taste of China. A stage saw performances from BGT winner Jai and Nickolodeon's Big Time Rush during the afternoon which was fabulous for the kids.

Big Time Rush
Me and my two eldest Joe and Meg.
Kung Fu Panda played on the big screens and the children had a chance to be photographed with the star of the film Po!  Freddy was not impressed about being photographed with a 7 ft tall giant panda, but his sisters were happy to meet him in the VIP tent.

Po from Kung Fu Panda
The highlight of the day was the concert of John Powell and Hans Zimmer's music.  Between them they have composed the music to over 100 films  and won numerous awards including an Oscar, Golden Globes and an Ivor Novello Lifetime Achievement Award.  Collectively, their music has been in films such as Inception, Gladiator, Pirates of the Caribbean and of course Kung Fu Panda 1 and 2!  This concert was a world exclusive and I felt very honoured to be a part of it.
The Main Stage

The Hans Zimmer and John Powell concert begins.
The full philharmonic orchestra played music from a host of films including Shrek, the Bee Movie, Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda.  Renditions of "I like to Move it Move it" and "Kung Fu Fighting" were sung by the man who does the the voice of King Julien in the Penguins of Madagascar and provided a fun-filled culmination to the day.  I loved how the musicians clearly loved what they did and were full of energy and enjoyment for their work.  Hans Zimmer himself was awesome, dancing around the stage whilst giving a note perfect performance.  Simply genius! 

Freddy had a marvellous day taking part in the activities, listening to the music, playing in the VIP playground and being with his big brother, sisters and future sister-in-law!  It was the perfect venue for a birthday party!

Freddy fell fast asleep after his exciting day at Pandamonium in the Park...thanks to Sainsbury's, Cadbury and the other brands and performers who made this a day to remember!


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