Dereham Festival is ready to begin

Come and join the procession – then enjoy a month to remember at Dereham Festival 2012... That is the message to families in and around the town.

The finishing touches are being made for the launch of the festival on Saturday.

It will get under way with a procession from the Cherry Tree car park, starting at 10.30am.

The procession will wend through the Market Place and along High Street, into the precinct and on to the Memorial Hall – the hub of Dereham Festival 2012.

About 50 people are already poised to take part in the parade, which will be headed by Dereham Band, and there is still time to join in.

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Traffic will be stopped for a few minutes just before Dereham Library at about 10.25am, and motorists passing through are being asked to be patient.

The festival opening is at 11am at the Memorial Hall, to be performed by Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman.

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Festival chairman Jim Stebbings said: 'This is the beginning of a very special month and summer for the Nation, for Dereham and for Memorial Hall. Let's all make it a time to remember.'

There will also be a food fair and stalls at the Memorial Hall from 10am. Admission is free, and the bar and coffee shop will be open.

Tickets will be on sale for all Dereham Festival 2012 events.

Food fair organiser Jane Dickinson said: 'We have a good mix of stalls: there will be a selection of local stalls with suppliers and producers, most of whom live in and around Dereham.

'We are hoping to bring to people's attention that Dereham really has lots to offer on their doorstep.

'Stalls include Sally Brown the honey lady, Corners Farm Shop, Bean Baking, Mr Dann the ice cream man, Garden Farm, Norfolk Rural Community Council, We Can Bake, Preserves and Jams and Beeston Brewery Ale, Ashill Fruit Farm and Mrs Anema's locally-produced meats.'

The festival opening party night is on Saturday from 7.30pm, when Riff's Traveling Dance band, headed by former local boy Andy Pett and featuring The Discolettes, will perform a mix of music from the 70s onwards with soul, funk and glam.

They will be supported by local band Shock ! Hazard. Tickets are �8.

On Sunday, there is a community singing workshop at the King's Head from 10am-12.30pm; tickets are �3.

Later, there is a ceilidh at the Memorial Hall with Hickathrift and a caller; tickets �7.

A Community Festival featuring a host of additional events in and around Dereham is running in tandem with the main festival.

On Sunday, there is an Open Gardens event from 10am-4pm. Eight gardens will be open: Dale Farm, 2 Park View, 35 Theatre Street, 40 Middlemarch Road, 19 Stone Road, 30 Westfield Road, 30 Neatherd Road and Pightle Farm.

Tickets for all events are available online at, or at the Memorial Hall box office on Friday and Saturday from 10am-3pm. For information on the festival ring 01362 692377.

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