The Village Fancy Dress Parade

The Village Fancy Dress Parade

As it’s the Summer holidays, I thought I’d share a captured moment from the annual fancy dress competition which runs during my village regatta week. For anyone not familiar with this event, it’s where the locals dress their children up in the most elaborate costume they can think of, for a prize fund of a couple of quid and a much coveted trophy.

Be under no illusion that this is by any means a fun event, far from it. It’s fierce, competitive and usually ends in tears. This is not about taking part, it’s about winning and once judging has taken place.
It’s an unwritten rule that you must never disclose your theme for fear of your idea being stolen and under no uncertain terms, must the children enjoy themselves. Losers  must endure a walk of shame, as the fancy dress parade continues through the streets and down the beach while locals and holiday makers watch on. 

It’s only fitting that my children and any other younger family members take part in this event as I, along with my sister and cousins had to endure the same humiliation many moons ago. It’s a village rite of passage by which you can only pass over to the teenage years, once you have competed in at least 3 regatta week fancy dress parades.

We’re actually giving it a miss this year as we feel our children have served their time, so I’m sharing a photo of the year we came 1st in our category. Think of Lewis Hamilton on the winners podium and you’ve pretty much got the idea of how we felt as our prize winnings jingled in our pockets and the children breathed a sigh of relief.
Many happy tears were shed that night as  Maid Marian slept peacefully in her pram, our merry men frolicked on the beach, eyeliner beards still intact, and social services had been reassured that Friar Tuck had only water in his flagon.


Mami 2 Five
And then the fun began...



  1. 23rd July 2015 / 8:54 am

    They all look so cute especially that little girl in red…. Great post! #MyCapturedMoment

    • 23rd July 2015 / 9:58 pm

      Happy times and great memories, Maid Marian did us proud that day!

  2. 24th July 2015 / 7:51 am

    I won third prize in a fancy dress competition once. I do believe I was some kind of defender of the poor and starving. Don’t ask. I had a fabulous sword and a dress made out of mostly paper, that’s all I remember. Since having my own kids, I have been a bit disappointed to find that most people just buy costumes around here when dressing up is required. On the other hand, it does tend to mean that whatever headdress fashioned out of cereal packets I have been able to come up with tends to walk any prize winning opportunities.

    • 24th July 2015 / 9:12 pm

      I’m the parent who tries to make an out fit and scoffs at the bought ones then regrets it because my kids look so rubbish and home made! I once sent my son to school in a paper mache roman helmet which made him look like one of the monsters from the old SMASH adverts. I felt awful as it was truly pants and he knew it but didn’t have the heart to say.

  3. 24th July 2015 / 2:06 pm

    Brilliant! I love it. That made me laugh! I don’t blame you for having a year off! They look fab though and I’m not surprised they came first! 🙂 x #MyCapturedMoment

    • 24th July 2015 / 9:08 pm

      I thought it was about time the truth was revealed although I’m not sure whether all the locals would agree!

  4. 25th July 2015 / 8:25 am

    OMG! Everyone is really playing their part and they look so adorable! You really deserve that trophy! #pocolo

    • 25th July 2015 / 10:45 pm

      Thanks Merlinda, they do enjoy it as much as I scoff. When I told my son we weren’t doing it this year he was a little upset and asked if we could have a reserve outfit just in case.

  5. 26th July 2015 / 7:19 am

    They all look adorable! Great photo! #SundayStars

  6. 26th July 2015 / 7:21 am

    Brilliant, just brilliant. I love Friar Tuck and Maid Marian looks very pleased to be there! I have a faint memory of being dressed as a prisoner one year and a Victorian school girl another year and being on a float with my primary school classmates. I don’t think our village does it anymore. Shame as I am quite competitive! #sundaystars

    • 26th July 2015 / 7:34 am

      I’m not usually that competitive but I as soon as I’m in that village hall it’s gets very ugly! I know I’ll regret not entering our kids this year on the day but it’ll Venice watching instead of being in the parade for a change

  7. 26th July 2015 / 12:53 pm

    Amazing! I’m all for putting the kids through some of the same humiliation that we suffered and I LOVE fancy dress! #SundayStars

    • 26th July 2015 / 2:27 pm

      It’s only fair they experience that embarrassment we had for our pleasure. Lol!

  8. 28th July 2015 / 8:41 pm

    Ha ha! This is brilliant. Those costumes are superb. I especially love Friar Tuck and Maid Marian. You really deserved to win. You must have been so proud. Thanks for linking up with #SundaysStars. Hugs Mrs H xxxx P.s. I love the idea that this contest is so brutally competitive between the parents. That made me laugh out loud.

    • 28th July 2015 / 9:59 pm

      That really is no exaggerated, it brings out the worse in me.

  9. 28th July 2015 / 9:31 pm

    Are those all your kids? They look blooming brilliant so i’m not surprised they won! Even though it sounds a bit strenuous and arduous I still wish we had more opportunities for dressing up in our lives 🙂 Thanks for linking up to #thetruthabout X

    • 28th July 2015 / 9:57 pm

      No, not all mine, but they are all related to me. My village seems to love fancy dress. The adults get their chance the day after the kids fancy dress.

  10. Heledd - Running in Lavender
    29th July 2015 / 8:41 am

    Oh yes I remember these days too as a child but unfortunately it isn’t really a ‘thing’ here in our village in Surrey. This is a fantastic shot of all of them, one to treasure forever and maybe bring out again in years to come to continue the humiliation!! Thank you so much for linking up to #MyCapturedMoment xx

    • 10th August 2015 / 5:17 am

      We’re going to be the spectators this year but its so fab to see all the effort everyone goes to.

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