Norfolk Gala Day set to attract the crowds

Ben KendallOne of the main fixtures of the Norfolk event calendar will return next month - as organisers say they are confident it will go from strength to strength in years to come.Ben Kendall

One of the main fixtures of the Norfolk event calendar will return next month - as organisers say they are confident it will go from strength to strength in years to come.

The Norfolk Police Gala Day had been running for 31 years, attracting more than 20,000 visitors, when it was axed by the force last year. Bosses decided it no longer represented value for money.

But Steve Thacker, who organised the event for more than a decade joined forces with Norfolk Showgrund Ltd, to produce a new gala day for 2009. And, with the event to be held on September 6, the programme for this year's renamed Norfolk Gala Day was revealed this weekend.

Mr Thacker said: 'The aim of the gala has always been to provide a good family day out at a reasonable price.


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'The interest in this year's event has been huge. The classic car rally alone has about 1,500 cars and motorcycles signed up and it seems to have really captured the public's imagination.

'We have already booked the main ring for next year which demonstrates how committed we are to making this a success. I think this is an event that is close to people's hearts and it would be great if we can carry on the tradition.'

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Highlights will include a specialist boat display on the lake, a village green with dancing and music all day and the popular Motor X demonstrations.

There will also be a large craft fair, a fun fair and inflatables, the Eastern Transport Collection of vintage buses and a large military vehicles display. Animal exhibits include horses, rabbits and tortoises.

Mr Thacker said: 'It is a mixed bag of attractions but we like to think it is a good mixed bag. There should be something for all taste and, above all else, people will be able to enjoy the atmosphere of the gala.

'Old Gala was one of the most successful and popular events in Norfolk's calendar and we will continue to build on this success to attract more than 20,000 visitors to make the new Norfolk Gala Day the largest single event in Norwich after the Lord Mayor's Show and the third largest event in the county.'

When it axed the gala, Norfolk police said the event had grown beyond its original intention of showcasing the force's work to become a major event which was no longer suited to modern policing.

Entry to this year's event will be �8 for adults, �4 for children aged five to 16 and �20 for a family ticket. Under-fives enter for free.

For more details contact Norfolk Gala Day Office, 20 Windsor Park, Northgate, Dereham, NR19 2SU, email mail@sigmaconsulting.co.uk or call 01362 693651.

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