Special date to launch Downham Market festival

Organisers of the Downham Market Festival will announce this year's line-up at a special launch event next month.

The theme for the eight-day festival incorporates the two biggest events in the country in 2012 – the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic Games in London.

The 38th Downham Market Festival will run from Sunday, June 3 to Sunday, June 10 with the highlight being a carnival parade through the streets of the town on bank holiday Monday, June 4. The parade is free to enter and there will be trophies for the best float for groups, walking float, decorated bicycles, decorated mobility scooters, classic cars and vintage tractors.

Organisers hope that the parade will be biggest ever with the theme of Olympic Jubilee. The parade will also be led by the original 1948 Olympic torch which will come through the town as part of a 170-mile route around West Norfolk from June 2 to 5.

Hundreds attended last year's parade, which had a wild west theme. Traditionally the parade winds up the hill from Heygate's Mill by the Relief Channel, across the town centre to the Howdale.

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Alongside the main carnival day on June 4, which will be officially opened by the newly elected town mayor, Downham Market is also expected to see live music, dancing and a host of arts events in and around the town.

Carol Williams, one of the festival organisers, said: 'There will be plenty to do, as ever, throughout the eight-day week, whether you are watching some of the Jubilee celebrations live in the town hall, taking your youngsters to the fancy dress disco or entering a float in the parade, which will be led by the original 1948 Olympic torch.

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'Make sure you buy your colourful programme and be sure not to miss anything during the week.'

There will be a programme launch on Saturday, April 28 in the Market Square and, after that, people will be able to purchase programmes for �1 at shops around the town.

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