THOUSANDS of residents and visitors made their way down to Penarth Esplanade over the weekend as part of Penarth Summer Festival.

Stage entertainment, a superb firework display and the ever-popular Downhill Derby were just some of the activities on offer during the action-packed weekend.

As usual, people flocked to watch the thrills and spills of the Downhill Derby unfold over the course of Saturday afternoon.

Entrants enjoyed a wide range of age, experience and competitiveness, with winners declared for each of the under-12s, 12-16s and over 16s categories.

Kicking off the event at 2pm on Saturday was team Misfire, themed after a Second World War Spitfire, taking on the time trials.

The first round of the day was the Over 16s time trials, with each racer competing to set the fastest time downhill – a title scooped by Chocks Away, a pair in vintage uniforms piloting a Lancaster Bomber-inspired racer.

For the Under 12s, a winner was found in Bryn Celynnog School’s Year 7 project, Roadrunner – easily securing first place as its pilot barely appeared to touch the brakes.

For the 12-16s, a closely fought time trial saw team Firehound emerge victorious.

For two hours homemade cars hurtled down the hill at high speed, occasionally clashing, losing parts en route and veering off the track.

In a thrilling finale, four teams raced at the same time for the title of King of the Hill.

Cardiff Gas 1, Supermarket Sweep, SMS and Headcase battled it out over chicanes, ramps and a “car wash” to see who would scoop the crown.

Cardiff Gas 1 was the first team to cross the line – though they were disqualified for avoiding the jumps, leaving second place Headcase the winner.

The team Headcase gave a speech afterwards, thanking the organisers.

They said: “As much as it’s a good opportunity just to win an award today, we’re also raising money for our auntie who has severe brain tumour.

“We are raising for the charity Headcase, which funds research into finding a cure for GBM, the most common type of adult brain tumour.

“We’re really proud, and feel like it’s gone really well.”

The prize for the best designed racer went to Hamptons and Shore Penarth, for a phenomenal Dick Dastardly and the Mean Machine set up – complete with a cuddly Muttley.

A spokeswoman for Hamptons said: “What a brilliant day! We were thrilled to win “Best Kart” at the Downhill Derby.

“Well done to Andy and Colin for building our brilliant ‘Mean Machine’ Kart – and of course to Peter, our very own Dick Dastardly and our Dastardly Crew of Andy, Jane and Jane.

“Congratulations to everyone involved – thanks for all your support – and of course, see you next year at the start line!”

The festival also gave visitors a chance to witness Waterski Racing South West undertake their Penarth Regional Race on Sunday.

Organised by Anthony Scaccia and Penarth Waterski and Wakeboard Club, it was a fantastic return to the ‘Cardiff Riviera’ after a long absence, with the race ultimately being watched by over 5,000 people.

Organisers Penarth Town Council praised their partner Events Team Production 78 for their role in delivering the festival, which was officially ‘plastic free’ for the first time in line with recent environmental successes in the town.

“The Esplanade can be a tricky spot to get right when it comes to events,” a town council spokesperson said.

“But we worked hard with Production 78 to provide a fun-packed weekend with plenty to do and see.

“A huge thank you to Pendragon Fireworks too for their fantastic fireworks.

“All the feedback has been great.

“Thank you to everyone who took part, everyone who took the time to share their photos and videos with us over at Facebook and Twitter, and of course a very big thank you to everyone who attended.”

Former St Cyres pupil James Hoare, better known as DJ Hoarez, took to the stage to provide entertainment across the festival, along with a host of other acts.

DJ Hoarez said: “I’ve had a passion for DJing since I was very small – and it’s been a dream of mine to play the Penarth Summer Festival since I was a child.

“I have a regular gig in the Seashore Grill so it wasn’t far to go! I’ve had an absolute ball playing at the festival.”

Town mayor Cllr Angela Thomas said: “It was an honour to start the festival and tell the community that while Penarth festival has been a fixture for over 60 years, this year’s festival was plastic free in line with Plastic Free Penarth – with biodegradable cups and packaging and full recycling.

“The addition of the Teddy Bear’s picnic and bear hunt taking place in Alexandra Park was a huge success with families, making use of our beautiful parks.

“The Downhill Derby race was popular with old and young alike – a big well done to all the participants and the organisers of the Downhill Derby team, again helping to make our festival fun and inclusive, with disability viewing areas.

“The Fireworks following the sunset DJ set were the best yet, with everyone enjoying the spectacle set off from our iconic Penarth Pier.

“A huge ‘thank you’ to Production 78 and the Penarth community for helping to make this event the biggest and best in our Penarth town calendar.”

Next up in terms of events for Penarth Town Council is the return of Picnic Penarth on September 14 and 15.

To keep up with town events, visit, or find ‘Penarth Town Council’ on social media.