Date set for Dereham Carnival

Dereham WI 1951 carnival float.

Dereham WI 1951 carnival float. - Credit: Matthew Usher

The date has been set and it is all systems go to bring a carnival back to Dereham.

The weekend of August 22 and 23 has been set aside for activities, games, entertainment and a parade of floats, bands and dance troupes through the town.

Organiser Patrick Payne said he has arranged a meeting with the town council to discuss road closures and once that has been agreed there will be no looking back.

'There will be plenty of red tape and form filling I am sure but the council is going to explain everything to me,' he said.

'There is lots of support for the event to happen.'

The outline of the weekend will see the Saturday taken up with activities, games and music on the recreation ground ahead of a parade through the town centre on the Sunday. Mr Payne is working with the Friends of Dereham Memorial Hall to organise a poetry competition with a prize-giving after the parade along with the prizes for the best floats and other competition winners.

'We are also looking at inviting a special guest which will be exciting and we are looking to appoint a Carnival Queen, prince and princess.'

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Mr Payne said in order to get Dereham in 'tip-top' condition for the carnival weekend he was organising a community clean-up with one volunteer already offering to paint shop fronts.

Although organising the event is taking up a huge amount of time he said he is not regretting his decision to take it on.

'From the article in the Dereham Times we have had lots of people contact us and offers of sponsorship so I think we will be able to create an amazing event,' he said.

'And this is just the beginning - we want to organise other events which carry on for many years.'

To reflect the new burst of community spirit the theme for the carnival parade will be 'New Beginnings'.

* If you want to take part in the parade you can register with Mr Payne by telephoning him on 07923 856771 or email him at

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