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Donington to host Party in the Park to celebrate homecoming of explorer Matthew Flinders

A party in the park is being organised for villagers to celebrate the homecoming of a famous explorer later this year – but organisers are appealing for sponsorship.

Donington is gearing up for a big year when people will travel from across the globe to watch navigator Matthew Flinders be buried within St Mary and the Holy Rood Church on July 13.

And to coincide with this historic event, Flinders Party in the Park is being planned to provide a day of fun and entertainment for villagers and visitors from noon on that day.

Flinders Park in Donington
Flinders Park in Donington

Donington Parish Council vice-chairman, Coun Nicola Burdall, and parish clerk, Diane Fairweather, are organising event in Flinders Park which will include a funhouse, music and even a cocktail named in honour of the man who first circumnavigated Australia.

Diane said: “The return of Matthew Flinders is a big thing for Donington. The Bring Him Home Group have worked very hard to get him here – Australia wanted him and so did Lincoln. But they have worked hard to get him here in Donington.

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“We said we would put something on for the people of Donington and make it as free as possible.”

The statue of Matthew Flinders in Donington
The statue of Matthew Flinders in Donington

The organisers will be submitting a number of grant applications but need to raise up to £9,000 to put on the event.

They are hoping to close High Street in order to put on entertainment during the day – including a Matthew Flinders race around Australia along with a number of other games.

Youngsters will also be able to enjoy a trip around the funhouse and there are plans for a market in the centre of the village.

Diane said: “We are going to have a marquee with bands and a special cocktail is being made.

“We want to put on a really good day for the people of Donington.”

The group will be holding a meeting in Donington Church Hall on Monday, March 11, at 7pm to discuss the plans. Everyone is welcome.

Anyone who would like to support the fundraising should email matthewflinders2024@gmail.com

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