'Bearstival' goes down a storm - and could become annual event
- Credit: Danielle Booden
Teddy bears put smiles on faces at a new village festival which it is hoped will become an annual event.
The first-ever 'Bearstival' in Brisley, between Dereham and Fakenham, drew about 350 people to the Brisley Cricket Club oval on Saturday, July 17.
Families had plenty of space to spread out on the lawn and enjoy live music from local band Back Pages, the Fakenham Ukes and the headline act Graham McGrotty, who is based in Norwich.
Ian Edwards, secretary of the village hall committee which ran the festival, said the festival was a "huge success" which had raised more than £1,000 for East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH).
Mr Edwards said: "We had tremendous support from quite far-reaching parts of Norfolk. People were very generous, because it was a free event people dug deep and gave what they could to charity.
"Everyone seemed to be thrilled to be able to get out in a safe environment and be entertained - the venue was superb.
"This is the first time we've run the Bearstival - it's a big venture for a small village like ours, but it was well worth the effort because of all the support that we got."
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The Bearstival was conceived as an extension to a teddy bear trial which has been run for the past three years around this village and this year had an Olympic theme.
Mr Edwards said: “There were bear weightlifters, bears on pommel horses, diving bears, canoeing bears, it was just incredible the effort that people went into.”
Mr Edwards said the committee was keen to make the festival an annual event.
"The feedback that we've got is that people would love it to come back," he said.
He said the music was more popular than they had imagined, and the acts enjoyed themselves.
“They love playing music and they’ve all missed it as they haven’t been able to have a lot of performances over the past 18 months," Mr Edwards said.
"So it was tremendous to see them doing what they love again. Graham McGrotty was superb. The music should have finished at about 8pm but it was still going fairly strong at 9.30pm because people were enjoying it so much."