Counting down to Cromer’s New Year’s Day fireworks

A fun run and a torchlit procession will usher in one of the highlights in the Norfolk calendar - the Cromer New Year's Day fireworks.

The final pieces of planning are falling into place for the spectacular 5pm display, when more then 8,000 people are set to gather on the seafront to see the explosion of light and colour that is launched from the end of the pier.

Organisers, whose day will begin at 8am as the display is set up, are urging people to arrive early to secure a decent vantage point.

Firework committee chairman Jim Bond said: 'We're delighted it's become such a successful annual event, and with plenty of good vantage points to watch the display, come early, we don't want anyone to miss it.'

He added: 'The idea has always been to bring people up to the coast for a breath of fresh air, something to eat and drink, and a fabulous firework display over the sea, fired from Cromer Pier at 5pm.

'This year, January 1 is a Sunday, so linger longer and enjoy the evening. Caf�s, pubs and restaurants will also be open, so there'll be plenty of places to get a cuppa or something stronger.'

There will also be teas and coffees in the parish church with piano accompaniment, and mulled wine outside.

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Bucket collections on the day help the display to raise over �4,000 for local good causes – and fund the following year's show. The first fireworks spectacular in Cromer happened on New Year's Day 2000 to welcome in the new millennium.

Mr Bond said: 'This year's show will be as spectacular as in previous years. We have been planning and building the show over the last few months and are hoping more than ever to produce effects that will light up the sea in a variety of colours, but this, as always, is all weather dependent.'

At 3pm, North Norfolk Beach Runners are organising the annual one-mile fun run along Cromer promenade. Starting from the pier forecourt, the run is open to all ages and abilities, with categories for under 13s, 14-16-year-olds, seniors, and even fancy dress.

Registration will take place from 2.30pm on the pier forecourt for a fee of �1.

At 4.30pm there will be a torchlit procession from the churchyard, with light-sabres and lanterns available during the afternoon outside Cromer Museum. Mulled wine will be served outside the museum, with tea, coffee, and hot soup available in the church.

Mr Bond said he hoped people would 'give generously', having seen more than �8,000 raised last year.

He said: 'Everyone's aware that budgets are still tight, but we do ask people give as generously as they can. Just a few coins can make a lot of difference to local charities and good causes – and without everyone's help we couldn't continue the annual display.'

Cromer Pier will be closed from 8am on New Year's Day.

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