The Jesters Children’s Fair gets bigger and better
every year. Some heavy overnight rain had softened things up a bit at the
Diana Driving Range, but not to the extent that vehicles could not get to
their stalls to set up for the day. A couple of brief drizzles during the
day were all it came to and, apart from the humidity, the weather was
perfect. So there was nothing to deter the enthusiasm of the organizers,
the eighty stallholders, the performers entertaining throughout the day,
and the many, many fairgoers that came by.
‘Peter’ Malhotra, Graham Macdonald, Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh,
Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn, Lewis ‘Woody’ Underwood, Soppin
Thappajug and Jintana Wechchot at the ribbon cutting ceremony.
Jester Kevin set it all up at the Diana Garden Resort
& Driving Range for the fourth consecutive year, a venue that provides
the best facilities one could ever hope for to stage a major event such as
this. He planned the best layout yet, skillfully designed to welcome
fairgoers and make it easy for them to shop the stalls, relax in the
shaded areas, enjoy the activities, demonstrations and stage performances
and hear everything, thanks to Rick Bryant arranging the live music. In
large numbers they came throughout the day, many staying for the duration
as there was always something for everyone in the family to enjoy.
The action packed day began at 10 a.m. with the Opening
Ceremony. Lewis ‘Woody’ Underwood, Jesters Charity Drive Committee
Chairman, gave a warm welcoming speech acknowledging the enormous support
from all the sponsors, including the record breaking 20 Platinum sponsors
supporting the Jesters Charity Drive this year.
Due credit was afforded to the Honorary Jester
committee members who freely contribute essential skills, expertise and
time to make fund raising for ‘Care for Kids’ successful. The
ceremonial ribbon was cut by Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn, Deputy Mayor
Ronakit Ekasingh, Sopin Thappajug (managing director of the Diana Group
and host to the Children’s Fair), Lewis Underwood (chairman, Jesters
‘Care for Kids’ Charity Drive Committee) and Graham Macdonald (JCD
corporate sponsorship director). Mayor Niran gave a welcoming address and
the 2005 Jesters Children’s Fair was officially open.
Children’s raffle ‘Family Team’
Marching bands from Pattaya School No. 3 performed with
precision and enthusiasm to open, and conclude, the opening ceremony.
Then it was over to emcees Neil Smith and Jester Pistol
Pete (for the many Thai fairgoers), to keep things going at pace
throughout the day, and they did just that.
The Children’s Variety Show was first up featuring
Steve’s Circus Workshop, balloon modelers, stilt walkers, jugglers and a
Magic Show. The Variety Show continued, on and off, throughout the day.
Performances that ran through to midday included the Fountain of Life
Children, Redemptorist School for the Blind Choir and Band, the Pattaya
No. 3 Kindergarten band, Nareethip School Dancers, a stilt walker and
juggler stage show, Eckie the famous Clown and Annie’s Band’.
At 12 noon it was time for Children’s games in front
of the stage organized by Spencer, Linden, Nick and Isabelle with many
prizes donated by Pattaya International Ladies Club. That was the first of
three children’s games sessions organized throughout the day.
Professional entertainer Mike Gerrard was next up,
followed by music from the Macedon Band. More Children’s games followed
until it was time for the next entertainment session, this time from
Yvonne & Friends, a fire-eater, juggler, magician and, to conclude
that set, Eckie the Clown was back on. Then even more children’s games
as the non-stop action continued. The ever popular Climbing Wall and
Bouncy Complex were busy throughout and the Horseshoe Point ponies were
definitely never short of young riders.
The Children’s Activity area was a special feature at
the fair this year providing the most fun for the younger ones. Primarily
organized by the local international school communities, these stalls
featured all sorts of fun and games. Staff, students and parents from
Garden International School, St Andrews International School, The
Regent’s School, International School Eastern Seaboard and Montessori
Children’s Centre turned out in force to support the ‘Care for Kids’
Charity Drive, and have fun.
This year the accent was on ‘Lucky’ with lucky
numbers, lucky color wheel, lucky lollipops, lucky dips and lots more. The
kids did not go hungry either, as the Fountain of Life had set up a 144
sq. meter ‘Chow Hall’ providing a ‘fine dining’ facility for more
than 500 children to enjoy. Far more meals than the Fountain of Life
Sisters and staff normally prepare for kids at the Center. For the
fairgoers there were some 19 food stalls offering a wide variety of
Western and Asian cuisine, and something to satisfy every palate.
Children’s games continued then, at around 3 p.m., it
was the presentation of bicycles to ‘Best of the Class’ Fountain of
Life kids for Chris Kays Scholarship Fund, sponsored by Mark Gorda and
Meanwhile, the professional entertainers were back on
stage until it was time for the Children’s Raffle Draw. The support this
year for the Children’s Charity Raffle was staggering. The wide range of
26 valuable sponsored draw prizes, worth over 60,000 baht, were eagerly
won, and deservedly so as the Children’s Raffle raised 150,000 baht,
nearly 50% up on last year. This was largely due to the sterling work of
Muffy Kerr & the Jesters, Bernie Tuppin, Reina Rances & BPH staff,
my family ‘team’, and a much appreciated effort by student teams from
the International School of the Regent’s.
Many thanks to main sponsor Pattaya Sports Club, Jester
Neil, Brown Farm, the Diana Group, Pattaya Trader, and the US Navy for
Mickey Monkey and Percy Panda.
The Diamond Shop made a spectacular Lucky Number draw
for a gold chain with a Jester pendant valued at 45,000 baht.
After that excitement it was time for the children to
‘take the strain’ in the exciting Tug-O-War and watch a lot of falling
about. The ‘grown-up children’, not to be outdone,’ had an
unofficial pull later.
The final hour of the fair was given to live music from
Annie’s band and Pop’s Pattaya All Stars, a final tour of the stalls
and, for the organizers and stallholders, a well deserved visit to the
Jesters beer tent, or The Blue Parrot for a few chilled Margaritas.
And, if it all got too exciting at any time, Bangkok
Pattaya Hospital nurses were there to give a free blood pressure check,
this year for adults and children. Sincere thanks also to the Bangkok
Pattaya Ambulance Unit, on station all day to tend to anything more
There was never a dull moment and certainly no lack of
enthusiasm or enjoyment throughout the day. In fact, from very early on
one could detect a real ‘buzz’ at the fair, and a great atmosphere
that lasted to the close.
Sadly at 6 p.m. it was time to wrap, with the
inevitable few lingering on, sitting around, wanting more, and wondering
how the day had passed so quickly.
It had been another hugely successful Jesters
A children’s day in a one-off ‘Children’s Park’
created uniquely at the Diana Driving range just for the event. A day for
the whole family to enjoy, and the only day of its kind throughout the
Finally, the Jesters ‘Care for Kids’ Charity Drive
committee sincerely thanks all the fairgoer families and children that
came to support the Children’s fair, the stallholders, our Charity Drive
partners – namely Baltex, Jameson’s, Pattaya Mail and the Diana
Group; all the Platinum, Gold Silver, Bronze and Pledge program sponsors,
and the Diana Garden Resort & Driving Range for providing the ideal
Can it ever be better? We will have to wait until next
year to find out!