Free Mile Cross Community Festival to bring neighbours and families together

Tyler Kemp, 10, tries to stay on the rodeo bull at the 2016 Mile Cross Community Festival. Picture:

Tyler Kemp, 10, tries to stay on the rodeo bull at the 2016 Mile Cross Community Festival. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

Birds of prey, Zumba and classic cars will be just some of the attractions at a free festival which boosts community spirit.

The Mile Cross Community Festival, now in its 36th year, is happening on Saturday, June 24, at Sloughbottom Park, Norwich, from noon-4pm.

From small beginnings, it now attracts thousands of families from Mile Cross and surrounding areas.

Lisa Shaw, secretary of the Mile Cross Community Festival committee, said: 'It has got bigger every year. I'm very excited about it.

'It is really important to have events like this. It improves peoples' spirits. People look forward to the festival each year, especially the children.

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'The festival allows everyone to get together and feel closer as a community. Neighbours can meet each other and children can play together.'

She added: 'It is nice to organise something like this. It is hard work from January 1 onwards but is rewarding to put on such a nice thing for the community.'

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Miss Shaw, 44, who has a teenage daughter and grown-up son, has lived on Bignold Road in Mile Cross for a decade and described the area as a 'diverse and happy environment' to live in.

The festival started on Peterson Park with only a few stalls and attractions.

But after it continued to grow it was moved to Sloughbottom Park a few years ago.

This year's event will include a bird of prey display by Norfolk Wild Encounters, a first for the festival.

Arena events will include a Zumba display in which festival-goers can participate in and a children's keep fit group.

Youngsters can enjoy a soft play trampoline and bouncy castle as well as learn about bike maintenance, among other attractions.

Dozens of classic cars will also be on show alongside craft stalls and exhibits by groups and organisations including the Scouts, Army, firefighters, Norwich Labour Party, the Norman Centre and Phoenix Centre.

The festival is funded by last year's event and community grants and is run by volunteers.

If you want to get involved in volunteering on the day or join the festival committee email Miss Shaw on

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