Crowds flock to village festival

One of Norfolk's biggest and most unique festivals kicked off in style as thousands of people enjoyed what is becoming a typical British summer.

One of Norfolk's biggest and most unique festivals kicked off in style as thousands of people enjoyed what is becoming a typical British summer.

Crowds flocked to the picturesque community of Worstead yesterday to take in the opening of the village's three-day festival.

Although rain clouds did loom overhead as people enjoyed a wide collection of arts and craft stalls, displays of farming equipment and well-behaved shire horses, the first day of the 42nd festival was only marred by one brief shower.

The dry weather was appreciated by six teams of children taking part in an all-day football tournament in the event's main ring in front of their proud soccer-loving parents.

In fact, the only concession to the recent bad weather was that a display of heavy tractors due today and tomorrow has been moved from the main area to a side field to prevent damage to the area.

Festival organisers are predicting this years' event will be one of the most successful yet - with about 30,000 people expected to visit Worstead.

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Vic Steyerman, chairman of the festival committee, said: "The tractors were just far too heavy for our ring and we had to make sure we did not spoil the grass and soil on the green, so people can use it throughout the year.

"Already I can feel and certainly see that it is going to be a very, very well attended festival. Word just keeps spreading about what a lovely festival we have here and how families can have a great day out in Worstead."

The festival was formed to raise money for the village church and since then the event has raised tens of thousands of pounds every year for local charities and good causes.

Today, the main ring has displays by the Trevor Hill falconry and birds of prey exhibition, the City of Coventry Corps of Music, and Dino's dynamic dog agility and flyball show.

Tomorrow, the main attractions in the ring include the Dagenham Girl Pipers, a Norfolk carriage display and terrier racing.

During both days, bands will be playing in the New Inn pub, and St Mary's Church will host a floral display.

Entrance costs £5 for adults and £1 for children. Car parking is free.

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