What is Family Fest? Family Fest has been running since 2016 at the River Dart Country Park. It a great opportunity to gather together with other families and share a weekend of activities, games, workshops, music and worship. Everyone has a wonderful time as you can see from the comments below and the photos in our gallery.
Sadly due to COVID we had to cancel our 2020 weekend but we managed a Family Fest Day in 2021 which was great fun. In 2022 we returned to the River Dart Country Park for our fabulous weekend under canvas (or in a caravan/camper) from the afternoon of Friday 10th June to the afternoon of Sunday 12th June. We had a brilliant weekend, and were blessed with great weather. We’re already looking forward to next year and hope you are too! We have booked the dates Friday 16th to Sunday 18th June 2023 so please put a note on your calendar now.
‘Angels and Saints’ was the theme for 2022, what will it be for 2023? – watch this space!
Who is it for? YOU! Families are made up of people of all ages, and we look forward to welcoming families from parishes and communities across the Diocese of Exeter and the South West region.
Enjoy a relaxed weekend of family time, getting away from the stresses of the everyday. Children can play together outdoors in a safe environment, whether it’s playing on the pirate ship, swinging on the high ropes or having a sing-song. For parents, it’s a chance to talk about faith, family and parenting – or whatever they want to share.
Family Fest is open to everyone – those exploring faith, re-engaging, or looking to deepen their existing belief. There will be opportunities to talk about faith, family and parenting – or whatever you want to share.
Where is it? River Dart Country Park – http://riverdart.co.uk/
When is it? Friday 16th to Sunday 18th June 2023
What are the arrival and departure times? Arrive after school on Friday and depart after lunch on Sunday (although everyone is welcome to stay and use River Dart Country Park’s facilities for the rest of the day).
What is the programme for the weekend? Friday evening opens with a BBQ followed by games and the opening liturgy in the marquee.
Saturday starts with morning prayer and mass for those that wish, followed by family workshops which lead into lunch. The afternoon is free to explore the extensive park attractions, with everyone regrouping for supper and early evening liturgy.
On Sunday there is a sung Mass at 11am. After lunch Family Fest closes for another year, but those that wish can stay to enjoy River Dart Country Park’s facilities for the rest of the day.
On the Friday and Saturday evenings the marquee becomes a socialising space.
How much does it cost? For 2022 the cost was £25 per person. No charge for children under 3. The subsidised cost includes camping fees for the weekend, worship and workshops, access to River Dart Country Park, and meals on the Friday and Saturday evenings. Day visitors are welcome. For more information please email us on: firstname.lastname@example.org .
What are the camping facilities like? Family Fest takes over the Picnic Meadow (see http://riverdart.co.uk/park-guide/park-map for a map of the park). This field is for tents, caravans and campervans and has its own amenity block with free hot water and showers, and toilets. There are electric hook-up points if required (available on a first come, first served basis). There are covered washing up areas, water and rubbish points, recycling facilities, and laundry rooms (coin operated).
Please note there is a steep descent into Picnic Meadow, notify us if you are planning to bring a large caravan as you may need to be sited on an alternative field.
Is there catering? Meals on the Friday and Saturday evenings are included in the price for weekend campers, or day visitors. All are encouraged to join together for evening meals. Breakfasts and lunches are expected to be provided by campers themselves. There is a tea and coffee tent available for all to use.
What do I need to bring? In addition to all the usual camping equipment, please bring chairs for the worship in the marquee and meals. Please don’t forget plates, cutlery, mugs and glasses for all the family. Suitable items for protection from the sun (we hope..) and something warm in case we aren’t blessed with the weather we are praying for.
Can I bring my dog? River Dart Country Park welcomes dogs for day visits and for camping trips (maximum of 2 per pitch). Dogs must be kept on leads at all times on site.
What have other people said about Family Fest?
“We had such a fabulous time….. all of the families want to come next year! Importantly, I met people from other churches too.”
“Family Fest was a fantastic success again – the best so far!”
“First weekend at Family Fest! What an amazing time we’ve had. Thank you!”
“We had the best weekend.”
Have a look at our Gallery and view the links below for videos and photographs of previous Family Fest weekends: