Chance to be involved in this year’s popular and historic Lord Mayor’s Procession through Norwich

The 2016 Lord Mayor's Procession winding its way through Norwich. Photo : Steve Adams

The 2016 Lord Mayor's Procession winding its way through Norwich. Photo : Steve Adams - Credit: Steve Adams

It is one of Norwich's main cultural celebrations which attracts thousands of people.

The 2016 Lord Mayor's Procession winding its way through Norwich. Photo : Steve Adams

The 2016 Lord Mayor's Procession winding its way through Norwich. Photo : Steve Adams - Credit: Steve Adams

And there is a chance for groups or families to be part of the historic Lord Mayor's Procession on Saturday, July 8 which this year celebrates the theme of 'Once upon a time' and storytelling.

It is the UK's second oldest carnival, and float entries for the daytime procession, which has medieval roots, are now open.

Lord Mayor of Norwich, councillor Marion Maxwell, said: 'It is a real carnival event. It brings a lot of people into the city. People don't just come for the procession – they come for the evening and other carnival events. It really encourages people to visit Norwich.'

She added: 'It was the first big thing that I had been in as Lord Mayor. It is quite overwhelming at first. It was the first time I felt a bit important.

Councillor Marion Maxwell taking part in last year's Lord Mayor's Procession. Photo : Steve Adams

Councillor Marion Maxwell taking part in last year's Lord Mayor's Procession. Photo : Steve Adams - Credit: Steve Adams


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'The cheering was amazing. It was fun and full of laughter and there were lots of people smiling. I had a wonderful time. I enjoyed it.'

There will be a new Lord Mayor in place when the 2017 procession kicks off and they will lead the way along the mile-long route through the heart of the city. As the centrepiece of the city council's three-day Lord Mayor's Celebration, it is expected to attract about 70 floats, some 2,000 participants and 25,000 spectators.

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Events including fireworks, a 5K road race, duck race and the Gas Hill Gasp bike challenge will be held for the celebratory weekend.

The floats and walking procession will start at Newmarket Road and then wind their way to St Martins at Palace Plain via St Stephens, Castle Meadow, and Tombland.

A charity collection will be held for the Lord Mayor's chosen cause.

Last year £3,000 was raised for testicular cancer charity It's on the Ball.

Helen Selleck, Norwich City Council's culture and events manager, said: 'This year's procession theme can relate to the telling of a story, be it old or new, real or make-believe.

'We encourage you to tell your own story which can be as fantastical, far-fetched or funny as you like. Stories can be from the past, present or future. The choice is yours.'

Floats will be judged on their creative interpretation of the theme and quality and cash prizes of £300, £200 and £150 will be given out to the top three entries.

The deadline for applications is Friday, June 9. Visit www.norwich.gov.uk/LMP to complete an online entry form.

Are you planning to create a float for the Lord Mayor's procession? Let us know by emailing newsdesk@archant.co.uk

PROCESSION HISTORY

The latest incarnation of the Lord Mayor's Procession started in 1977.

Since then many businesses, community groups and people of all ages have made regular appearances in the popular event.

But the Norwich Lord Mayor's Street Procession has its roots in the late medieval period, Norwich having been given the right in 1404 to appoint mayors by King Henry IV.

Early mayoral processions were linked to the medieval Guild of St George, who in 1451 became responsible electing the mayor, with documents as early as 1408 referring to the figure of George in procession and making a conflict with a dragon.

The Guild paraded in the mayor's processions with St George and a dragon, and although the figure of St George was banned at the time of the Reformation, the dragon was allowed to continue to participate, something that has continued up to the present day.

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