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Water festival to make a splash as it returns to Downham Market

Teams will be in oar this weekend as they gear up to take part in Downham’s annual water festival.

Thousands of people are expected to descend on Downham’s Hythe Bridge for the event on Sunday, which will provide fun for all the family.

Downham Market Water Festival. (3467734)
Downham Market Water Festival. (3467734)

The festival, which will take place from 10am to 5pm, is organised by Downham Market Town Council and Gable Events.

Town mayor David Sharman said: “We are anticipating a good turnout, the way we’ve normally done.

“The boats are all ordered and the stalls are all sold out so everything is going very, very well.”

The festival, which is now in its 12th year, will see teams – made up of staff from local businesses and organisations – battle it out on the waters of the Great Ouse Relief Channel for the traditional Dragon Boat Challenge.

As well as the regular schedule of dragon boat racing, which is based on an ancient Chinese tradition, the day will also offer an array of fun-day activities on-land, including refreshments, dance performances, stalls and a funfair.

Race teams are made up of eight to 10 paddlers and one drummer, who will keep a steady rhythm as the boats make their way down the river.

Last year’s winners were Cirrhosis of the River, representing the East of England Ambulance Service, with BritStar1 representing British Sugar coming second and the Mad Hatters of John Chambers Windows Ltd placing third.

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