Paradise Parade organisers look ahead to next year’s event

Great Yarmouth Arts Festival mammoth parade.

Great Yarmouth Arts Festival mammoth parade. - Credit: Nick Butcher

From rickshaws to submarines and elephants to ships, a transport theme is set to get everyone moving at next year's 'Paradise' parade in Great Yarmouth.

Organisers are busy contacting groups and schools, hoping to put a multi-cultural twist on next year's showpiece carnival procession.

Artist and animator Matthew Harrison, who is leading the project, said the event would build on last year's mammoth effort which saw giant puppets held aloft and carried through the busy streets.

Large sculptural creations will again be a major element of the parade - but preparations need to shift up a gear to secure grant funding.

A public presentation is being staged at the Time and Tide Museum tomorrow at 2.30pm for anyone interested in taking part.

Mr Harrison said that he hoped the theme would prove a good vehicle for imaginative expression, reflecting the interests or culture of communities and groups.

It will be the third attempt at a procession in what will be the fourth ten-day arts festival bringing a spread of high quality entertainment to the town and making the most of its history and venues.

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The parade takes inspiration from the Time and Tide's visiting exhibition Halfway to Paradise which celebrates the work of music photographer Harry Hammond.

Dozens of his photographs will be on display documenting the emergence of rock and roll with The Beatles, Billy Fury and Cliff Richard among those who have been captured through his lens.

Seizing on the idea of a journey, Mr Harrison said he envisaged transport as well as music-related puppets making an appearance.

To accommodate what is hoped to be a bigger and better parade with more participants the route has also been extended.

Carnival entrants will now gather on the seafront before making their way along Regent Road, past the Troll Cart and round the Market Place before making their way to, and finishing at St George's Theatre.

Entertainment and activities will greet people at the finish and tie in with a neighbourhood fair at Great Yarmouth Library which will also be improved with more to do.

The parade will take place at midday on Saturday June 4 across the town centre

Mr Harrison added: 'The parade will be 1950s and 60s themed but with a twist as the parade participants will all be making their way to paradise on or alongside various forms of pedal or people powered transport. We're hoping to engage large numbers of the local community and show off the diverse cultures of the town through dance, music, costume, large puppets and forms of transportation.

'The idea is 'we're only halfway to paradise but we'll get there whichever way we can.' Dance or drum your way across town or design your own transport to help you on your way.'

To find out more contact Matthew Harrison via mjharrison2605@yahoo.co.uk.