Thousands enjoy 16 days of Norfolk and Norwich Festival fun

Thousands of people have been enjoying the jam-packed programme of entertainment brought to the county by the Norfolk and Norwich Festival's 16 day arts extravaganza that draws to a close tomorrow.

From giant dinosaurs to a show celebrating the people of Norfolk, the weird and wonderful events have entertained people of all ages.

The festival is celebrating record numbers this year, and the free grand finale tomorrow is the Festival Feast at Norwich's Chapelfield Gardens where thousands of people are expected to enjoy an eclectic and completely free menu of street theatre.

The festival opened two weeks ago when an estimated 10,000 people took to the streets to watch the festival's free opening show Invasion which saw huge fantastical beasts and towering witches descend upon Norwich.

The festival is also celebrating a record number of ticket sales and sell-out performances – 75 performances were sold out and tickets sales increased by 15pc on last year from 26,000 to 30,000.

More than 16,000 people attended the opening weekend's Garden Party at Chapelfield Gardens and Millennium Plain in which the prehistoric beasts from Erth's Dinosaur Petting Zoo were the stars of the show - and a further 2,000 schoolchildren got the chance to pet and feed the family of puppet dinosaurs in schools across the county and at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

The festival's artistic director William Galinsky said he was thrilled with the success of the festival.

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'We have seen more people buying tickets for an increasingly diverse programme and the festival being taken out to more of Norfolk than ever before with performances in King's Lynn, Swanton Morley, Great Yarmouth and Holt,' he said.

'We are really thrilled with how enthusiastically the audience has responded to the new and adventurous innovations in the programme.'

He said he was very proud of the EDP and Greater Anglia-sponsored show 100pc Norfolk - in which 100 Norfolk people took to the Theatre Royal stage to talk about life in the county - and he said The Voice Project - in which singers took people on a musical mystery tour - was 'something very special' and 'really showed off the city's architecture.'

The sold-out Time Circus' AirHotel, which has seen quirky tree-top residences spring up in the grounds of Holt Hall, has also attracted international attention from Russia's Department of Information Channel 1 which has 90 million viewers.

• The free Festival Feast is from 11am until 5pm tomorrow in Chapelfield Gardens where there will be a vast array of quirky entertainment for all ages.

For more information about the Norfolk and Norwich Festival visit

• Are you involved in a new arts project in Norwich? Call reporter Emma Knights on 01603 772428 or email

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