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'We'll just dance round it': Sinkhole will have 'no impact' on annual morris festival, organisers say

PUBLISHED: 16:56 01 July 2019 | UPDATED: 18:55 01 July 2019

Sheringham Potty Morris and Folk Festival, which runs this Saturday and Sunday.
Picture: KAREN BETHELL

Sheringham Potty Morris and Folk Festival, which runs this Saturday and Sunday. Picture: KAREN BETHELL

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Organisers have promised Sheringhan's sinkhole woes will have no impact on one of the seaside town's first major events to take place since the void opened up in the high street six weeks ago.

Dancers and musicians make their way through the town centre during last year's opening procession.
Picture: KAREN BETHELLDancers and musicians make their way through the town centre during last year's opening procession. Picture: KAREN BETHELL

More than forty dance sides from all over the country will be heading for the coast on Saturday, for the annual Potty Morris and Folk Festival.

And festival chairman Clive Rayment says the traditional two-day programme of music and dance will go ahead as planned.

Potty Morris and Folk Festival chairman Clive Rayment (right) with fellow founder member Tony Chadwick. Picture: KAREN BETHELLPotty Morris and Folk Festival chairman Clive Rayment (right) with fellow founder member Tony Chadwick. Picture: KAREN BETHELL

"We'll just dance round it," he said. "The only thing we have had to change is that we have had to cut the procession slightly short as the dancers will have to stop and walk around the sinkhole to go to their dance spots."

The event, which was first held 26 years ago with just a handful of sides taking part, now attracts crowds in their thousands, with a record number turning out last year to watch 369 dancers perform in unison in the high street and set a Guinness world record for the largest Morris dance.

Black Pig Border Morris at last year's festival.
Picture: KAREN BETHELLBlack Pig Border Morris at last year's festival. Picture: KAREN BETHELL

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This year's festival, which we want to promote as part of the Eastern Daily Press and North Norfolk News Sheringham is Open for Business campaign, will feature sides from as far afield as Essex, Yorkshire and Northamptonshire.

Dancers parading through Sheringham at last year's Potty Morris and Folk Festival.
Picture: KAREN BETHELLDancers parading through Sheringham at last year's Potty Morris and Folk Festival. Picture: KAREN BETHELL

The fun kicks off with a parade from the RNLI car park on the Esplanade at 10am on Saturday, with musicians leading hundreds of dancers through the town to the main arena at Lifeboat Plain.

Dancing will continue throughout the day at town locations including the Lobster, the Robin Hood and Two Lifeboats pubs, with music from the Sheringham Shantymen at the main arena at lunchtime followed by mass dancing in the afternoon.

Sheringham Potty Morris and Folk Festival, which runs this Saturday and Sunday.
Picture: KAREN BETHELLSheringham Potty Morris and Folk Festival, which runs this Saturday and Sunday. Picture: KAREN BETHELL

Evening entertainment will see musicians from various morris sides entertaining crowds at local pubs including the Lobster and the Robin Hood, while Sunday's programme, which runs from 10.30am-1.30pm, will include music and dancing at the main arena.

New for this year is a sing-around at 7pm on Saturday evening in Sheringham Little Theatre's Hub coffee bar, with organisers also laying on courtesy buses for dancers camping at Holt Rugby Club.

For more information, and updates, visit www.pottyfestival.com or pick up a programme from Sheringham Tourist Information Centre.

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