Hunstanton gearing up for return of Lifestyles Festival
Organisers of Norfolk's biggest extreme sports festival were joined on the beach today by high school students and a national kitesurfing champion to launch this year's event.
Lifestyles Festival will blow into Hunstanton on Friday, June 1 and see people pack the resort for three days to enjoy watching an array of extreme sports talent.
As well as watching the windsurfing and kitesurfing competitions, there will also be the chance for people to have a go at activities including skateboarding, inline skating and climbing.
The event, which first took place in 2005, is taking place a bit earlier this year to take advantage of the tides.
The new date isn't the only change as West Norfolk Council's sports Development Officer Tony Devenish, who has been involved with the event since the beginning, is moving onto a new role and leaving the organisation of this year's event to the Lifestyles Association and the borough council.
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Mr Devenish, who invited amateur kitesurfing champion Danielle Durrant and Smithdon High School students to help launch the event, said: 'Lifestyles is a great event to be involved with.
'I've watched it grow and grow over the years and I've seen the impact it's had in the town and also watched some of the talent develop as a result of people having a go at the sports on offer.
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'I know I won't actually be organising this year's event, as I'm moving to a new role, but I'll still be hanging out and soaking up the festival atmosphere.
This year's event will include the usual mix of high-adrenalin activities such as skateboarding, kitesurfing, windsurfing, climbing and inline skating, alongside street dance, stalls and stands and the classic VW show on The Green as well as local bands.
The will also be a full programme of have-a-go sessions for local schools on Friday, June 1, then competitions, demonstrations and public session throughout the Saturday and Sunday, including round two of the British Kite Surfing Association National Freestyle Competition and an opening windsurfing competition organised by Quayside Windsurfers.
Elizabeth Nockolds, West Norfolk council cabinet member, said: 'This event began as a sports event, designed to encourage people to get involved in non-mainstream sports and to provide people with an opportunity to have a go at something they might not otherwise get the chance to try.
'The event has grown over the years to incorporate other activities including dance and music and whilst we are keen to continue those additional activities, this year we are making a small charge for entry to the music events to help off-set the cost of putting them on.
'We really hope that people will understand the need for this charge and will continue to support this popular event.'
The event is sponsored by Veolia Environmental Services, Hunstanton Watersports and Downham Market-based Lingo Design, with funding from Mars in the Community, Flux Family Fund and West Norfolk Council.
For more information about the event, including the full music line-up and details about how to book campsites, will be published over the coming weeks on the Lifestyles website www.lifestylesfestival.co.uk.
There will also be regular updates on Twitter @lifestylesFest and Facebook www.facebook.com/lifestylesfestival.