A festival drew thousands of people to Dereham as residents and businesses gathered to celebrate the town.

Now enjoying its third consecutive year, Dereham Day saw more than 7,000 people enjoy the festivities on Saturday.

Organiser Tim Cara expressed his delight at the turnout, describing it as a "big, happy, communal event".

"My hope from today is that we encourage more of the bigger businesses to get involved in the community," he added.

"We are also trying to encourage tourism in the area, and get more people interested in the history of Dereham."

Dereham Times: Scenes from Dereham Day held on Saturday, May 11.Scenes from Dereham Day held on Saturday, May 11. (Image: Danielle Champ)READ MORE: The Dog Den day care centre to open its doors in Dereham

More than 140 groups participated in the event. Some of the businesses that had stalls were Taylor Wimpey, Konectbus and Orbit Homes. 

Among the organisations that got involved were Autism Anglia, Norfolk Young Farmers and Dereham Flower Club.

Family Movers partnered with the East Coast Truckers Children's Charity, which put on a stage of musicians including Alex Bracey, Frankie Browne, Kitty Collins, Reptune and Kerry King.

The Queen's Dragoon Guard also brought in a tanker to make people aware of their work in the area.

Dereham Times: The music stage run by East Coast Truckers Children's Charity at Dereham Day on May 11.The music stage run by East Coast Truckers Children's Charity at Dereham Day on May 11. (Image: Danielle Champ)READ MORE: One of Norfolk's last Second World War veterans dies aged 101

The Memorial Hall was packed with the usual plays and performances, while the leisure centre was open for free swims and the Orion Cinema screened free vintage cine films.

Ninety-eight-year-old local resident and war veteran Audrey Foster kicked off the proceedings. 

The event was sponsored by local businesses to help keep it free to the public.  

Mr Cara, who is also chairman of Friends of Dereham Memorial Hall, said he was pleased with the participation of local businesses, trades and professions.

"It's good news because Dereham tends to be undervalued, it's quite modest about itself.

"Dereham Day encourages people to come out," he said.