The 2011 Pageant was extended to a third day for the first time this year, with Friday being used by competing drivers and motorcyclists to put in some high-speed practice laps in front of the spectators. Another highly-successful new feature for the 2011 Pageant was the purpose-built Rally Stage, which played host to nearly 30 iconic Group B rally cars blasting across the Cholmondeley estate.
The Combat Power display by the British Army and the RAF – a unique event in the UK – gave the tens of thousands of spectators the chance to witness how the armed forces operate in real-life combat situations in Afghanistan. To the accompaniment of numerous ground-shaking explosions, smoke and constant machine-gun fire, troops assaulted an ‘enemy’ position right in front of the spectators. Tanks and helicopters were used to drop the troops in the heart of the action and then extract ‘injured’ casualties. As well as thrilling the crowds, the display helped raise much-needed funds for the Pageant’s designated military charities, Combat Stress, Remount and the Mercian Benevolent Fund (MBF).
'Despite the occasional intervention of the notoriously unreliable British summer weather, the 2011 Pageant lived up to all our expectations,' commented James Hall, event director at the Cholmondeley Pageant of Power. The organisers have promised that in 2012 the fifth Pageant will be even bigger and better, and a series of innovative enhancements – on track, on water and in the air – are already being evaluated. More information at www.cpop.co.uk click here for CPOP
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