TODAY (Thursday, February 23) marks the official launch of Withernsea’s Blue Light Weekend, which will take place this August.
I’ve mentioned it in this column before, as it was Steve Medcalf who came up with the name last year and, after his death in December, the event organisers decided to press ahead with it in his memory.
The event has so much potential, but the team, led by BlipActive’s Dave Penson (who is also deputy launch authority at Withernsea RNLI) are mindful not to promise the earth in the first year. They are relying on sponsorship to be able to deliver many of the planned attractions, and are really hoping that as many local businesses as possible will be able to come on board.
I fervently hope this will be the case, too. Withernsea desperately needs a major annual event, and I mean major – something that will draw massive crowds from far and wide and even make ripples in national What’s On guides. If Cleethorpes can do it, with the Armed Forces Weekend, as Dave suggests, then why can’t Withernsea? It could put the town on the map for all the right reasons, for a change.
The emergency services elicit a fairly strong emotional pull, too – they save lives almost every day, at considerable risk to their own, and are often paid far less than workers who sit comfortably at their office desks, far from any peril. So this tribute to them is much- needed, and should be something people can resonate with and get behind.
Accusations of apathy are often levelled at Withernsea, so I’d love this to be turned on its head and see as many people put in what they can to make this a fantastic event that can only get bigger and better in future years, and presumably attract more funding if this year’s is a success. These are tough times, I know – but if you’re a business interested in sponsoring the Blue Light Weekend, you’ll get something back for your input.
The website and branding, created by Steve’s brother Andy, is now live, and it is vibrant, professional and full of information – a great example for others to follow.
And don’t forget to keep reading the Gazette for updates on the event planning between now and August 12-13.