Sun shines for festival

Whisper under it your breath and cross your fingers. Summer could finally be here!That was the sunny feeling as thousands of people flocked to one of Norfolk's most enduring festivals.

Whisper under it your breath and cross your fingers. Summer could finally be here!

That was the sunny feeling as thousands of people flocked to one of Norfolk's most enduring festivals.

For the last three days the recent torrential rains and blustery weather held off as massive crowds congregated at the Worstead festival with only two brief showers marring the spectacular annual occasion.

Up to 30,000 people relished the chance to don t-shirts and flip flops and even rub on a bit of sun lotion as they enjoyed a wide array of attractions, including a bird of prey display, dog agility show, craft stalls and perennial favourite- the horse and cart exhibition.

The event's success was nearly its downfall as sweet toothed festival goers munched their way through the kitchen's whole store of 2,300 cakes and scones hours before the fun finished.

Like its 41 other predecessors the event was organised to raise funds for good causes in Worstead and the three days of family fun should plough back about £44,000 in to the village thanks to the hot weather which may have drawn record crowds.

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Vic Steyerman, festival chairman, said: “Feeling among people who have organised the festival over many years is that this is one of best attended yet- if not the best.

“People are coming here in their droves because they get the idea that summer has finally started and they want to make the most of it.

“All in all the last three days have been just unbelievable. It is so nice to give visitors a typical Norfolk country day out while helping Worstead at the same time.

“The secret of our continuing success is that we make sure there is something for everybody who comes here no matter what their age.”

Cynthia Clare and her 100 cooking volunteers have been busy at their ovens since April making sure there were enough cakes to satisfy the hunger of the greedy throng.

Just as the last cake was about to be sold she said: “It has been a very busy three days. I have to say this has been an exceptionally good festival this year.

“Now it is finished I do not want to bake another cake for at least a month.”

Mr Steyerman was keen to point out that the festival would not have succeeded without the efforts of the volunteer stewards and organisers.

To raise extra funds this year 2,000 copies of a cook book, Festival Favourites, were printed, with about half of them being sold by the end of Sunday.

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