Alex Hurrell, Reporter
Friday, January 25, 2013
Paints out and think spring – it’s time to get creative for this year’s Cromer and Sheringham Crab and Lobster Festival.
Last night’s official launch of the fourth festival saw organisers inviting young, old, professional and amateur painters to sponsor and decorate a lifebuoy.
Once made beautiful, the life-saving rings – which cost £50 or £60 according to size – will form an art trail around the resorts.
That trail will be one of many sea-themed activities aimed at celebrating the area’s heritage and extending the season by attracting and beguiling visitors.
This year’s festival, from May 17-19, will feature more than 40 events including an opening concert and hands-on opportunities to learn the traditional crafts of braiding nets and netting crab pots, and dressing crabs.
Old favourites will also be back, including the World Pier Crabbing Championships, street entertainment and a fish cookery theatre, featuring local and national chefs.
To avoid weather disruption, organisers are planning to erect a marquee on the Evington Lawns, near Cromer’s Runton Road boating lake, for some activities.
Just over two dozen pubs, cafés and restaurants in the area will once again take part in a seafood snack trail and diners will be able to vote for both their favourite fishy creation and best lifebuoy.
The lifebuoys will remain on display in the two towns until they are auctioned for charity on August 25.
“The festival involves the two communities of Cromer and Sheringham celebrating all the good things about both towns in terms of food, heritage and entertainment,” said festival chairman Tony Shipp.
At the launch event, in Cromer’s Cliftonville Hotel, Mr Shipp appealed for more festival sponsors following the loss of sponsorship from companies, including Young’s Seafood, connected with the former Cromer Crab Company, which closed last year. He also made a plea for more volunteers to help with the festival.
Among those appearing at the concert, in the Cromer Pier Pavilion Theatre, will be the Sheringham Shantymen, respected folk singer John Conolly and Norfolk comedian Nigel “Boy” Syer. The event will be hosted by Olly Day. Tickets are now on sale at the theatre box office for £5.
Organisers are also inviting people to enter a competition for the best poster promoting the 2013 festival which last year featured decorated windbreaks and attracted an estimated 20,000 people over the weekend. So far the festival has raised more than £24,000 for local good causes.
● For more information ring 07775 337201 or visit www.crabandlobsterfestival.co.uk