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Annual Downham Market Festival to bring week of entertainment to town

A week of festivities in Downham will take visitors "around the world", with a parade, art exhibitions and music as just some of the highlights.

The 44th annual Downham Market Festival begins tomorrow with a Songs of Praise at Downham's Methodist Church and, after a week of events, culminates with 'Sunday Funday' and a flag lowering ceremony on Sunday, June 3.

Secretary of the festival committee Denise Whiley said: "It's eight days of entertainment for townsfolk and visitors.We hope we have covered most people's wants and requirements."

Mrs Whiley said this year the festival will begin with a Songs of Praise tomorrow at 6.30pm, which was a suggested addition by a visitor.

Sunday will see a number of events at the town hall and the town square, including a French-style café, the flag raising ceremony and a performance from the Rock Choir.

It's carnival time on Monday, when the parade will progress up the high street and arrive at the Howdale between 1.15pm and 1.30pm, where a number of stage and arena events will take place, including a MotoStunts team, funfair rides, Zumba dancing and more.

Highlights on Tuesday include a children's show with Crazy Bananas clown and Downham Red Hats Sluice Women's The Strollers show, at a cost of £3 and £5 respectively.

On Wednesday, there will be a coffee morning and a festival cake cutting at the town hall at 11am and a bridge and afternoon tea event from 1.15pm.

A traditional children's party, with prizes for fancy dress, and a 'ladies pamper' evening form part of Thursday's agenda.

Visitors are invited to try croquet at Stow Hall Gardens in Stow Bardolph for free between 2pm and 5pm on Friday, and a quiz night will be held at the town hall at 7pm.

Saturday will see a table top sale in the town hall from 10am to 2pm and festival prize bingo from 7.30pm.

The week's events come to a close on Sunday, June 3 with 'Sunday Funday' at the Howdale from 10am to 2pm. The flag will be lowered to mark the end of the festival at 3pm.

Mrs Whiley said: "We as a committee work hard for it but we enjoy the week as much as we hope other people will.

"The festival was started by Tinker Taylor all those years ago and we are still going strong, we hope that it stays as a tradition."

If you are interested in putting together a quiz team on Friday or if you wish to have a table top for the sale on Saturday call Mrs Whiley on 01366 383615 .

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