THE finale to Chepstow’s annual Castell Roc event on Sunday 2nd September is being opened up for an ’all day community bash’ in aid of Mencap, with the castle open all day free of charge.

Many local residents fondly recall popular community events in the town like the Pram Race, Rock in the Dell, Chepstow Carnival and St Lawrence and Mount Pleasant Hospital fetes. Nowadays they’re just distant memories, but the aim of the family fun day is to focus on that ‘old school’ community spirit and, at the same time, turn the spotlight on some talented local performers.

Activities on the day will include a dog show, with classes for best puppy, best male and female pedigrees and cross-breeds, waggiest tail, best child handlers, fancy dress, best golden oldie and best in show.

There will also be a Superheroes Marching Carnival from 11am, open to both kids and grown-ups, while on the grassed areas in front of the castle grounds (12 midday to 6pm) there will be go karts, a bouncy castle, various stalls, a pig race and face painting.

From midday right through to 10pm there will be live music, with local bands getting their chance to perform on the big professional stage.

The evening’s musical conclusion to the festival staged inside the castle, will include On Air from Wyedean School, The Singing Club, Rock Pipes, Doc and The Headshrinkers, The Basics, Nightjar, Josh Hicks, Smoke Room, Lee Mccrory and 4th Street.

Sue Nicholson, chairperson of Chepstow and District Mencap, which supports 60 people with learning difficulties in south Monmouthshire, said “The day is about fundraising in a low-key way, but it’s also a ’thank you’ to the people of Chepstow and Bulwark who have supported us with everything we have done over the years.

“It should be a great day and we hope lots of people will come along.

“Free entrance to the Castle is a huge saving. The dog show should be a lot of fun, with all the proceeds coming to us, and we’ve had lots of lovely prizes donated.

“We’re very proud of the way Chepstow and Bulwark people integrate as a community. It goes back to those events years ago, when people would go out onto the streets collecting donations in buckets. The Pram Race was so successful it enabled Mencap to buy a holiday chalet!”

The charity has purchased the old Board School near the castle, with the aim of creating a community hub and is waiting to see if an application for £500,000 of lottery funding has been successful.