Rain halts Downham Market carnival day

Months of preparation were washed away after today's downpour resulted in the cancellation in one of the main events for the Downham Market Festival.

Months of preparation were washed away after today's downpour resulted in the cancellation in one of the main events for the Downham Market Festival.

Organisers of the 33rd festival took the decision to pull the plug on the celebrations as the rain meant many of the events could not go ahead for safety reasons.

A host of events were pulled including the parade of floats and the carnival day on the Howdale, along with the events in the main arena such as the solo mountain bike stunt and the exploding coffin escape.

John Fox, assistant secretary for the festival committee, said: “Of course people are very disappointed, but we still many more events throughout the week of the festival.

“The parade had to be cancelled and will therefore not be going ahead at a later date. Members of the committee who deal with health and safety quickly decided that it was not safe to hold the day's events, because of the rain and winds.”

He said the weather had already played havoc in the setting up, and many of the performers were not able to put on the shows because of the slippery surfaces.

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However he was keen to stress events held in the comfort of indoors still went ahead , and the rest of the week's programme would still proceed.

The festival which began on Sunday had already attracted good numbers despite the poor weather, but the Carnival Day is seen as one of the biggest events in the week-long celebrations.

Tuesday's celebrations were expected to continue as normal and this included exhibitions and displays in the town hall and a young people's disco, and a puppet show in the evening.

Other events planned throughout the week include a Buttons the Clown children's show a coffee morning at the Silverdale Day Centre, a draughts competition and performances by the West Norfolk Gilbert and Sullivan Operatic Society.

It is hoped some of the stall holders who could not set up today would be able to take part in the fun day on the Howdale on Saturday, June 2. The committee has said they would need to bring their own stalls, but there would be no charge. The event includes fairground attractions, dog show, food stalls, car boot sale, pet show, children's fancy dress fun sports and even custard the clown.

The festival will run until Sunday June 3. To find out more log on to downhammarkettowncouncil.org.uk or call 01366 382963 or 01366 500256.

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