Lord Mayor’s procession will bring Norwich streets to life tonight

Dancers, dinosaurs, baton twirlers, Star Wars characters and truckers are just some of the many characters who will be bringing the floats of the Lord Mayor's procession to life tonight.

Carnival fever will take over Norwich city centre between 5pm and 7pm, with an expected crowd of around 50,000 people filling the streets and getting into the carnival spirit.

The highest amount of new entries ever is set to bring added fun and frolics to the procession, alongside the traditional aspects of the 230-year-old event.

The procession will be led by the sounds of the City of Norwich Pipe Band, closely followed by the city crier and Norwich whifflers, officers who traditionally went before processions to clear the streets.

They will lead Snap the Dragon, a central feature of medieval pageants in the city. It continues an ancient city tradition of a hobby horse with moveable jaws joining the parade to terrify the watching crowd which was revived in 2008 after more than 150 years.

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Snap will be joined by Lord Mayor of Norwich Jenny Lay's civic party, which includes Sheriff of Norwich Chris Higgins and the appointed judging team for the procession.

The Whifflers' dragon will then be followed by a recycled version created by Klangs Entourage and then the energetic carnival spirit of Norwich Samba.

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Joining them on the procession will be a host of floats created by charities, community groups and companies.

Among the colourful creations will be Norwich Pride, Miss Norwich 2011 Amy Spinks, an East Norwich Youth Project dance off, Norwich Star Wars Club reproducing a fight scene from Return of the Jedi and a float from Norwich City Football Club.

New Lord Mayor of Norwich Jenny Lay officially began her civic year in office at City Hall with a traditional procession at Norwich Cathedral last weekend.

Now she is looking forward to kicking off her civic term in style: 'I'm really looking forward to this year's Lord Mayor's Celebrations. They are such a special thing to be a part of, and a fantastic opportunity for people across the city to enjoy some world class entertainment.

'The highlight of the celebrations for me is going to be taking part in the Lord Mayor's street procession. There are always so many fun and creative participants – it's such a great family event.

'If you're not in the procession, then please go into the city to cheer on those that are – it really makes all the difference to see the crowds enjoying themselves too.

'Most importantly, the celebrations are a chance for everyone who attends to donate to the Lord Mayor's civic charity. This year it is Big C and we are hoping to raise a significant amount to support the hard work that this organisation does in the local area.'

The parade begins at 5pm today with all the 61 floats lined up along Newmarket Road near the Daniells Road roundabout, right up to the junction with St Stephens near the old Norfolk and Norwich Hospital site.

Bucket rattlers will walk along collecting pennies and pounds from watching families while they weave along the route, all the way to St Martins Palace Plain, just beyond Norwich Cathedral.

Evening News editor Tim Williams will be amongst the crowds enjoying the procession and is hoping for a day that will bring the people of Norwich together for a bit of fun.

He said: 'The Evening News is delighted to be so heavily involved with the Lord Mayor's Celebrations once again this year as it is one of our city's biggest and best events.

'I'm hoping the good weather will return to make for another successful year of the celebrations, especially as the programme put together by Norwich City Council is looking busier than ever.

'Our photographers and reporters always look forward to it, and they will be out and about at all this weekend's events – so make sure you pick up a copy of our 12-page special Lord Mayor's supplement on Monday to relive what is hopefully going to be a great weekend.'

- A special Lord Mayor's edition of the Evening News is available around the city centre today, with the full list of floats for the procession, be sure to get your copy.

Keep an eye on www.eveningnews24.co.uk for full coverage and lots of pictures of all the fun, or join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #lordmayors

And please send us your pictures and thoughts on the events to newsdesk@archant.co.uk to be in with a chance of appearing in our 12-page picture supplement in Monday's Evening News.

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