Believe it or not we plan our year around the Sage Summer Party! For the past few years Sage has thrown a Staff party at their headquarters on Great Park. The best bit is that they also open up the invites to residents of Great Park too. As neither of us work there, but know loads that do. We pop along and meet up with our friends and neighbours.
Sage Summer Party
The Sage Summer Party ( #SageSummerParty ), was held this year on Sunday the 25th June. Entry was under strict control of production of a flyer. Staff and local residents were given flyers which allowed up to 5 people entry. As last year was very busy, there was a message that emphasised that tickets must be shown to get in.
Upon entry we were given a pink wrist band and a set of food and treat vouchers. Oh yes Sage doesn’t make a monkey of you when they throw a party. Everyone was given one meal of choice from the catering vans. While the treat voucher could be exchanged for soft drinks, sweets, candy floss or an ice cream.
Sage staff were given priority entry at an earlier time. This is only fair and gave them a chance to experience the set up before the Great Park masses swarmed in. This meant that some of our friends were already in there.
From the main entrance to the Sage Summer Party we headed left. This was through the fairground attractions, bouncy castles, hook a duck and prize winning stalls. We walked on past the bouncy slide and into the Sage Atrium. This year the Market place stretched the length of the full building and there seemed to be many more stall holders. Various local businesses were present selling their offerings. My Favourite shop owner was here again… Bernie Bumm’s Hot Sauce!
As we passed through the Atrium, we went on to the Food Truck section. There were German Sausage, Fish and Chips, Burgers, Chinese Noodles, Pizza, Sweets and Pop Corn. I also believe that there was a beer tent, but never found that one. The queues were massive for the food truck. Anyone would have thought that they were giving away free food…. hang on they were!
As we continued around we got to a stage where Lee a Children’s Entertainer / Magician was in full swing.
The is a very popular event and we were looking for needles in a hay stack. This time our approach was… if we spot them on our journey. Imogen piped up “Can we go back to the stalls?”, a little strange I thought, but no problem. We continued around back to the Marketplace to see what was being sold.
There was a stall selling Neal’s Yard products. Krispie Kreme had a little stall. There were Children’s wooden Toys, Books and hand made shabby chic style decorations.
When Imogen said Stalls, she meant Hook a Duck and anything that was to be a pay per go item. I’ve always felt cheated with Hook a Duck as it doesn’t involve skill. There isn;t even a gamble involved. You should literally hook a prize out of the buckets around the base of the paddling pool instead. For that reason I said NO! We instead spent £6 on green bits of paper with numbers on hoping to find a combination that added up to 21. After the first 9 tickets I worked out where the skill was. It was trying to find an odd number. All our tickets were even. So we bought some more. They were all even again apart from one. This one read “better luck next time” and had no number on it. No prizes here then.
The entertainment had changed to Trolls and Moana on stage.
Food Truck Time
Catherine had hurt her leg so I was looking after the girls myself. Which isn’t an issue because I’m a Dad and thats whats called being a Dad! So I looked at the queues for the food and worked out which was the shortest one. It was Noodles.
Me “Imogen What would you like to eat?”
Me “Abigail, What would you like to Eat?”
Me “Wouldn’t you like Noodles?
Abigail “No I don’t like Noodles!”
Firstly this was a lie, but secondly this meant standing in two different queues and the Pizza Queue looked like about a 20 minute wait. Noodles seemed to shuffle down faster at around 15 minutes. Although we did hear that someone stood for 45 minutes to wait for Fish and Chips. I chose noodles to keep things simple.
After two and a half hours at the Sage Summer Party, it was time to head off. My two girls couldn’t agree on any rides, which meant either leaving one standing or them single riding. Both options they are too nervous about. So it was time to head off.
I’ve said it before, so I’ll say it again. Sage know how to through a fun party. We’ve enjoyed it three times since we’ve been living in Great Park. I think we missed it one year as were were on holiday.
Sage isn’t just about accountancy software. We know from our friends that work there that there is a strong community feel from them too. Through the Sage Foundation, Sage this year is aiming to raise $1,000,000 for local charities supported by Sage Foundation. They also help non profit organisations by providing resources and time.
“Our colleagues are encouraged to participate in 5 days of volunteering per year in their local communities.”
With so many council cut backs there are so many areas where help is needed. Last year around 400 Sage colleagues visited Monkton Dene Park, Jarrow and helped clear, and tidy up the park. The large team made such a difference providing manual labour. It’s easy to miss that sometimes it’s action that’s needed versus just throwing some money at it. It makes me proud to have them here on my doorstep and to know that this huge success story grew up in my home town of Newcastle