Thetford Festival just days away

A kaleidoscope of colour, sound, sport and heritage will bring Thetford to life as the town’s third annual festival gets under way on Friday (August 24).

A variety of shows, attractions and activities will be on offer and scores of people are expected to turn out to enjoy the community camaraderie at the Thetford Festival.

Organised by the Thetford Tourism and Heritage Partnership, the event aims to bring together activities organised by the town’s groups and charities under one umbrella in a bid to raise awareness of heritage and promote tourism.

One of the organisers, Karen-Emma White, said this year’s festival had incorporated feedback from previous years and was bigger and better than ever.

“There are lots of things for people to do if they’re visiting or if they live here and there’s a wide range of different things for young and old,” she added.

“I think the festival is really vital because it shows the community the numerous clubs and groups on offer and shows off some of our unique heritage.

“We’re a small market town but we’ve got big links internationally with the Sikh community and very talented people with the Thetford Players putting on performances and the academy putting their pupils’ work on display, for example.”

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The two-week programme will begin at 6.30pm on August 24 with an open-air performance by the Thetford Players, consisting of three short plays, in Kings House Gardens, continuing with two more performances on consecutive days.

An art exhibition by Thetford Academy pupils at the Charles Burrell Museum on Minstergate will begin on August 25, and will run until September 1, and a visit to the Dad’s Army Museum on Cage Lane by the original Jones’s van, as seen on the popular television programme, is sure to prove popular.

The town’s very own “world cup” will then kick-off on August 27 with a five-a-side tournament and charity fun day on the Redcastle playing fields, followed the next evening with a night market in the market square and, on August 29, a chance to find out more about the history of shops and shopping at the Ancient House Museum.

Other activities at the festival, which will run until September 9, include nature walks from Norfolk Wildlife Trust, a photography exhibition by Brandon Foto-Imaging Group, a GI Day outside the Dad’s Army Museum, Art Attack for youngsters who feel inspired to create a piece of art to take home, a magic night, and a sing-along to war-time songs.

The festival highlight for many will be A Big Day Out in Thetford on September 8, to be opened by South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss and Sikh historian Peter Bance, which will include a dance workshop where people can learn Bhangra and Bollywood moves, traditional Sikh sword dancing, and household objects from Elveden Hall.

The programme will conclude with the Thetford Festival Songs of Praise at 6.30pm on September 9 at the Methodist Church on Tanner Street.

For more information or to view the full programme, visit or call 01842 751975.