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Bigger and better for Downham Market’s 40th festival

Downham Market Carnival Parade 2013 - The Parade heads through town to The Howdale.

Downham Market Carnival Parade 2013 - The Parade heads through town to The Howdale.

Downham’s annual festival will be better than ever in 2014 to mark the 40th anniversary of its foundation, organisers have pledged.

Planning is well underway for the event, which will take place in late May and include a carnival parade which officials estimate will be up to half-a-mile long.

The festival, which was first held in 1974, had faced an uncertain future in the run-up to last year’s event as officials battled to find sufficient people to join the organising committee.

But committee member Francis Pennington said: “Last year was a great success, and because of that we’re able to say that it’s coming back stronger than ever.”

This year’s festival is on from May 25 to 31 and will have a carnival theme.

The traditional centrepiece is the carnival parade on the spring bank holiday Monday, May 26, which will run from alongside the railway station to The Howdale.

At least 10 floats, either belonging to a different community group or carrying musicians who will be playing, will form part of the parade, alongside classic cars and motorcycles, stunt bikes, tractors and trucks.

Mr Pennington said: “We’ve worked out will be about half-a-mile long.”

The carnival day will also include a host of live entertainment, activities and stalls on the Howdale.

And the town hall will host a range of events, including live music, quizzes and coffee mornings throughout the week.

 

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