Thousands expected at Hilgay Raft Race

It's that time of year when teams flood onto the River Wissey for the annual Hilgay Raft Race.

Rafts of all shapes and sizes will line up on Sunday afternoon for the annual fixture which started 40 years ago.

Competitors flock from across the region to the village, near Downham Market, for the event and also raise money for good causes at the same time.

This year, the race is in aid of the Stroke Association.

Organiser Ali Dent said: 'We are expecting thousands of people to come to the river banks on Sunday and hopefully we will have some good weather.

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'The race involves a great deal of fun, we have plenty of fancy dress costumes, hundreds of pounds of flour being chucked at the competitors and this always generates a great deal of excitement for those who come and watch.'

Around 14 teams are set to paddle down the river but teams of two to six members can still sign up.

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The Downham Rotary Club which supports the event has two rafts left which can be hired.

There will also be a barbeque, children's stalls, a bouncy castle and a rubber duck race.

Mr Dent said: 'It's a great day out for all the family.

'Every year we have a great laugh and we get to see some great creativity.

'I've seen people come here with rafts in the shape of a wrestling ring and people have barbeques on the raft.

'We also raise a lot of money, last year we raised £1000 on the raft race alone.

To enter the race there is a minimum donation of £40 and the gates open on Sunday at noon with the race starting at 1pm.

Anyone who would like to take part can contact Mr Dent on 01366 387686.

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