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JCB Dancing Diggers top the bill as East Anglian Game and Country Fair returns to Euston Estate

The JCB Dancing Diggers will be the headline performers at the 2018 East Anglian Game and Country Fair.

The JCB Dancing Diggers will be the headline performers at the 2018 East Anglian Game and Country Fair.

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Countryside entertainment ranging from dancing diggers to dog agility will be on display as an annual rural showcase returns for its 15th year later this month.

The East Anglian Game and Country Fair at the Euston Estate near Thetford. Photo : Steve AdamsThe East Anglian Game and Country Fair at the Euston Estate near Thetford. Photo : Steve Adams

The East Anglian Game and Country Fair will take place on the weekend of April 28 and 29, at the picturesque Euston Estate, off the A11 near the Norfolk-Suffolk border.

Headlining the Main Arena this year are the world-famous JCB Dancing Diggers, with the 80-tonne mechanical monsters performing precise choreographed routines, using their hydraulics to strike spectacular poses – one of only three UK shows by the team this year.

Other highlights include the return of the Mounted Games Association of Great Britain, the Sheep Show, forestry village, cookery theatre and a host of canine attractions including dog agility competitions, a pet dog show and K9 Aqua Sports’ long jump for dogs into water.

Organisers hope for as many as 20,000 visitors to the family show that has continued to grow since it was first founded, originally at the Norfolk Showground.

The East Anglian Game and Country Fair at the Euston Estate near Thetford. Mounted Games of Great Britain competition. Photo : Steve AdamsThe East Anglian Game and Country Fair at the Euston Estate near Thetford. Mounted Games of Great Britain competition. Photo : Steve Adams

Event organiser Andy Grand said the inaugural show had just one arena and 80 trade stands, while this year’s event has 10 arenas and more than 350 shopping stands.

“It has grown beyond all recognition, and the move to the Euston Estate last year has injected a new lease of life,” he said.

“The new venue gave us much more of a country ambience, the setting has allowed us to attract much more country-style stands, and the location off the A11 opened us up to a much wider audience.

“We are trying to put across everything that is good about the countryside, and also to introduce people to rural sports and the way of life in the countryside for those who may not be able to enjoy it on a daily basis.”

The East Anglian Game and Country Fair at the Euston Estate near Thetford. Dogs making a splash on the K9 Aqua stand. Photo: Steve AdamsThe East Anglian Game and Country Fair at the Euston Estate near Thetford. Dogs making a splash on the K9 Aqua stand. Photo: Steve Adams

The Duke of Grafton, whose family owns the estate, offered a “warm welcome” to show-goers, adding: “The park and grounds offer a particularly attractive setting for events of this kind and all the diverse activities on offer from clay shooting to dog shows, and archery to forestry displays, make it a calendar-worthy event.”

SHOW HIGHLIGHTS

• The headline act in the Main Arena will be the JCB Dancing Diggers, performing intricate and spectacular routines three times each day.

• Equestrian attractions include the exciting team relay races of the Mounted Games Association of Great Britain, and the fast and skilful British Scurry and Trials Driving Championships.

The East Anglian Game and Country Fair at the Euston Estate near Thetford. British Scurry and Trials driving championships. Photo: Steve AdamsThe East Anglian Game and Country Fair at the Euston Estate near Thetford. British Scurry and Trials driving championships. Photo: Steve Adams

• Norfolk based New Zealander Richard Savory’s mobile Sheep Show will demonstrate breeds and shearing, culminating in a finale of dancing livestock.

• The Forestry Village will be a buzz of activity with chainsaw carvings, felling demonstrations, tree climbing and pole climbing competitions.

• The Game Fair Country Kitchen has cookery workshops and demonstrations by local chefs including Chris Coubrough, Arthur Howell, James Conway and Justin Kett.

•There are over 350 shopping stands with products ranging from fashion and footwear to gun makers, fishing tackle and designer home wares.

The East Anglian Game and Country Fair at the Euston Estate near Thetford. Photo : Steve AdamsThe East Anglian Game and Country Fair at the Euston Estate near Thetford. Photo : Steve Adams

• Visitors can have a go at country activities including clay shooting, fly fishing and archery, while dog owners can enter their pets in the dog agility competitions or the Pet Dog Show.

• Advance discounted e-tickets are available until April 23 at the East Anglian Game and Country Fair website or by calling 01263 735 828. Children under five are admitted free, and car parking is free for all.

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