|The first annual Equinox Ball 2003 was held on Friday 26 September in Chichester. The Chichester Chamber of Commerce and Industry in association with The Festival Theatre organised the event to support the 'Venetian' theme of the performances at the Theatre this season. 120 guests dressed in fabulous Venetian attire enjoyed the experience of dining in some of the City's finest restaurants and public houses before strolling to the elegant Assembly Rooms at the Mayor's Council House. There they were greeted by street jugglers and entertainers. The evening continued with music provided by The Palm Court Trio and young harpists from Chichester College. An amusing sketch from the Youth Theatre was followed by dance music from the excellent local band The Laughing Gravy. Local businesses provided superb prizes for the raffle and included a Venetian weekend for Two, won by Jane Meikle from Hunston. A unique painting of Venice was won by Jonathan Harry from Chichester, and six bottles of Nyetimber sparkling wine by John Bell, also from Chichester. Proceeds of the raffle and auction go to 'Dreams Come True' and 'The Snowdrop Trust' - two of the Chamber's special charities.
There was fun and games on the 'Venetian Gondola Racing', where guests were able to throw dice and
race their boats along the 'canal' with winners of each race receiving a pair of tickets to The Festival
Theatre. Star of stage and screen, Joe McGann posed for pictures with the guests and MEP photography
from Bognor Regis gave profits from the pictures to the charities. The evening was enjoyed by everyone
and was considered to be a wonderful way of greeting The Equinox and supporting the superb eating houses
in our lovely City.