The Alton Lions were full of pride last weekend after laying on an afternoon of roar-some fun in the Public Gardens.

The beauty spot became The Serengeti last Saturday with hundreds of visitors experiencing their ‘Safari in the Park’.

There was a carnival atmosphere while intrepid young explorers encountered monkeys, snakes, parrots and a roaring lion on a safari treasure trail.

Alton Lions Safari Saturday PIC2
Let's all do the conga! (Alton Lions Club)

The event was opened by Alton’s re-elected mayor, Cllr Annette Eyre, who arrived on the back of a safari-style truck accompanied by a pack of wild animals.

The animals in the Mill Cottage Farm Experience reserve were tamer but the action elsewhere was straight out of Africa with a Lion King fancy dress competition, bouncy castle and a lively conga led by a Lion with a zebra, giraffe and elephant consort.

The Kings Arms offered carrots to whoever beat their gorilla goalie in a shoot-out, while the crowd went wild for the Holybourne Youth Theatre and their setlist of songs from their forthcoming Wizard of Oz musical.

Further highlights included animal music with PA Colin Longley, exuberant banter from MC Dean Phillips and live music from legendary local band Tripwire.

There were also classic cars and some great safari sustenance with Alton Explorer Scouts running a BBQ and Alton WI serving up tea and cake. Sir Whippy’s ice cream and Capra coffee also went down a treat along with the Outback Bar run by the organisers.

Alton Lions club president, Moira Baker, thanked Alton Town Council and Richard Warren of Solstice Energy along with sponsors and raffle donors.

She said: “This event marks the end of a special year for Alton Lions Club as we celebrate 50 years.

“This really is a ‘thank you’ to the people for the support you have given the Alton Lions over the years.”