THE countdown to this year’s Party in the Park event at Poole’s Ashley Cross is almost over.

For the first time in its 12-year history this year the event will be gated with an entry fee.

A firm favourite on Poole’s entertainment calendar, Party in the Park usually attracts thousands of people.

Boasting a number of local bands, DJs, stalls and food and drink, this corner of Lower Parkstone is normally transformed on the day.

Explaining the security fence and £3 adult entry fee, organiser Jane Jones said: “When the council told us that this was the only way forward, we knew that this was the only choice.

“The remit was to ensure safety for the general public and that meant fencing the event.

“We have incurred serious extra costs and those have had to be met somehow so naturally the decision was that this small charge for adults was the way forward. Hopefully, people will understand that we can’t bear these extra costs ourselves and will attend what is a great party at the end of the summer’s social calendar.”

Tickets are available on the day, but organisers say they are selling fast.

Richard Cossey, marketing manager for main sponsor Humphries Kirk, said: “We love this day.

“As solicitors we have little chance to really get out there and enjoy an event with the general public. One of our offices is just across the road and we wanted to put something back into this fabulous small community.

“At the end of the day it is all about joining in and showing support.”

Party in the Park kicks off at 11am on September 2, with music from 1pm. It normally winds down around 7pm.

Tickets are available from Humphries Kirk, Frost & Co, Martin & Co, The Cow, Le Bateau and Patricks, all in Ashley Cross.