Once Upon a Time...why don’t you become part of the story at this year’s Lord Mayor’s Celebration parade?

Lord Mayors Celebrations 2016 - the procession making its way through Norwich city centre. Photo : S

Lord Mayors Celebrations 2016 - the procession making its way through Norwich city centre. Photo : Steve Adams - Credit: Steve Adams

As preparations get under way for one of the biggest events on Norwich's calendar, all are urged to get involved in this year's Lord Mayor's Celebration by taking part in the iconic procession.

Lord Mayor's Celebrations 2015 procession passing through Norwich. Photo : Steve Adams

Lord Mayor's Celebrations 2015 procession passing through Norwich. Photo : Steve Adams - Credit: Archant

Around 25,000 people lined the streets last year as floats and those on foot paraded through the city, greeted with cheers and jubilation.

Approximately 2,000 people took part last year - and this newspaper is calling on even more to sign up for this year's procession on July 8.

This year's procession theme is Once Upon a Time.

Floats can relate to the telling of a story, be it old or new, real or make believe - the choice is yours.

Lord Mayors Celebrations 2016 - the procession making its way through Norwich city centre. Photo : S

Lord Mayors Celebrations 2016 - the procession making its way through Norwich city centre. Photo : Steve Adams - Credit: Steve Adams


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The procession is all about having fun and collecting for charity - but there are also prizes on offer, so the bigger and brighter your float is and the more carnival spirit you have, the better your chances of winning.

Everyone from charities, businesses and organisations can throw their hat into the ring.

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Silver Road Community Centre were one of the groups which took part last year.

Community Centre manager Julie Brociek-Coulton said: 'The benefits of taking part are so many.

Lord Mayors Celebrations 2016 - the procession making its way through Norwich city centre. Photo : S

Lord Mayors Celebrations 2016 - the procession making its way through Norwich city centre. Photo : Steve Adams - Credit: Steve Adams

'Our Youth club two years ago took part and there were about 25 of us doing a walking procession. The teenagers absolutely loved it and were given out stickers, high fives and totally taking in the atmosphere.

'Being in the Lord Mayors procession is so different to watching it.

'The carnival feel is so special actually being in the procession, everybody is having such a fantastic time.'

Mrs Brockiek-Coulton is also the guider of the 27th Norwich Rainbows, based at the community centre, who enjoyed the walking procession.

'It is a long walk for the five to seven year olds,' she said. 'But they had a blast. Walking with their parents, giving out stickers for the community centre and of course the added bonus of how cute they looked, it was great to see the faces of the audience watching.

Now is the perfect time to submit your entry form for a float in this year's procession. Information and how to enter is available at www.norwich.gov.uk/LMP – and you can now fill in the form and pay online. For queries, email events@norwich.gov.uk or phone 01603 212871.

'Norwich really is a fine city'

Testicular cancer charity It's on the Ball was the Civic Charity for 2016/17, and therefore marched at the front of the procession.

Fundraising co-ordinator Rebecca Bushell said: 'We were very privileged to lead the procession last year. From our experience, it gave us a huge sense of pride to be involved in such a wonderful celebration, and we were overwhelmed by the generosity of the spectators.

'As a very small charity, it gave us the opportunity to promote our cause to a large audience and it was wonderful to see so many people congregate to watch the parade. The event really does have a feel good factor and gives local businesses, schools and groups the opportunity to showcase their talents and skills in a fun, creative and colourful way. We feel very lucky to have been involved. Norwich really is a fine city, it has a strong community feeling that's bursting with talent and the procession allows you to be creative and to show this off.'

A group of Norwich University of the Arts (NUA) students in collaboration with sixth-form students from the Young Norfolk Arts Festival group (YNAF) designed a float to promote the British Art Show (BAS) 8 held at NUA, the Forum and Norwich Castle.

Senior lecturer Sarah Horton said: 'The ideas surrounding the use of fabric and banners stemmed from traditional British processions and folk art, tying together both BAS artist Alan Kane's past work and the use of materiality in a selection of artists exhibiting with the BAS.

'The act of creating a fabric collage allowed each member of the team to create a variety of different banner styles and relate to the themes of procession, political marches, and contemporary art.

'The float itself was referred to by some as a moving work of art.

'The students designed and made over 80 flags for the float which was seen by over 15,000 viewers.'

Rachael Fretter, from Norwich BID, added: 'Taking part in the Lord Mayor's celebration is tremendous fun and is a great community spirited event.

'On a warm summers day, taking in some of Norwich's landmarks it's a fantastic way to promote businesses, projects and community based activities.

'Last year our float was decorated in blue and white to promote the Discover Norwich app.

'Our City Hosts were keen to get involved so donned their blue 'Here to Help' tabards and helped distribute stickers and lollipops to the crowds of people lining the streets. We are already looking forward to taking part in this year's celebrations.'

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