Thetford festival set to promote Norfolk town

Rebecca Gough Thetford is a town which has sometimes received a bad press, but it is a place alive with culture, history and, just as importantly, people prepared to dedicate their time to these subjects.

Rebecca Gough

Thetford is a town which has sometimes received a bad press, but it is a place alive with culture, history and, just as importantly, people prepared to dedicate their time to these subjects.

Next month the town will host a festival dedicated to showcasing the breadth of opportunities in the area in a bid to encourage visitors and promote opportunities.

Hosted by the Thetford Tourism and Heritage Partnership (TTHP), the event is expected to attract up to 10,000 people, with events including a teddy bears' picnic, charity fun day, street dancers and myriad music.

David Brooks, secretary of TTHP, said: “We didn't have much time to do much about funding the programme ourselves but we just realised there are a lot of good things that are happening in the town. A lot of good organisations put on a lot of events and this was a good way of bringing them all together and to try to promote a mixture of events over the week.

“It's about showing what we already do and bringing organisations together.”

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The event will be held from Friday, August 27, to Sunday, September 5, at various locations throughout the town and is expected to become an annual attraction.

On the final Sunday there will also be a charity fun day, including a sponsored walk and cycle ride to generate support for nearby charities.

The festival will build on the success of previous events such as the Thomas Paine festival, the launch of the Dad's Army Museum and international Carnival.

Mr Brooks added: “If people can come and support the event it will galvanise these groups to do even more. There's quite an eclectic mix of events.”

Each organisation will fund its own event, alongside a small amount of business sponsorship, and the hope is next year a pot of money can be established by the TTHP, made up of the Tourist Information Centre, local museums, hotels, the library, Keystone Development Trust, and Thetford Forest, to put towards the festival.

A full programme of events can be found at www.thetfordfestival.org.uk.