Victoria Park hosts two big free events later this summer, bringing family fun and a feast of music to Portsmouth’s historic city centre haven.

On 16 July the park joins up with the Roberts Centre for a Family Sunday Funday from 10.30am to 4pm. The event will cover the whole of the ‘people’s park’, and will feature community and commercial stalls, food outlets and activities for children, including funfair rides. A fire truck is set to make an appearance too.

Live performances are planned from Panatical steel band, Ska Choir, Centre Stage Academy, Cantrelle Singers, Bessie Cursons Academy, DrumNation Tribe and international street performer Taroo.

On Sunday 6 August at 1pm, it will be time to sit back and enjoy popular opera favourites, presented by Hatstand Opera in their trademark light-hearted style.

On their third visit to the city, Hatstand’s professional singers will once again bring the laughter, passion and sheer joy of opera highlights to the park. Expect an assortment of classic scenes and heart-rending arias from favourite operas, plus lots of fun. Most extracts are sung in English, and include airline adverts, favourite tunes and plenty of laughs.

Audience members can bring their own chairs, blankets and picnics. The Café in the Park and a small selection of food stalls will be open.

The events are part of Portsmouth City Council’s work to bring new life to the park.

A major scheme is under way to improve its value as a community space, a wildlife haven and a much-loved part of the city’s heritage. Made possible by a £2.4m grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the project includes building a new community hub, improving the aviary, restoring historic monuments and creating a new play area.

Cllr Steve Pitt, Leader of the Council with responsibility for culture, said: “As our work continues to restore the park as a centre of community life, it’s brilliant to see events like this. It’s the perfect venue for family entertainment and live music, and I’m sure these events will be really special.”