Town struck by carnival fever as party set to begin

Dereham Carnival 2017. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

Dereham Carnival 2017. Picture : ANTONY KELLY - Credit: copyright ARCHANT 2017

The finishing touches to this year's Dereham Carnival are being put into place ahead of Sunday's parade.

Carnival fever is set to descend on the town following weeks of preparation for one of the highlights of Dereham's calendar.

The day will kick off with the Baptist Church pre-carnival party in the Baptist Church drive on the High Street. The free event starts from 10am on July 22.

Before the parade, at around 10.45am, the one-mile fun run participants will be racing past the crowds along the parade route. This is the first year this event has been put on.

Then Biscuit the deer, the town's mascot, will lead the procession from 11am starting at Greenfields Road. Then floats will make their way along Norwich Road, Crown Road, Neatherd Road, Wellington Road, High Street, and London Road, before finishing at the Recreation Ground.

Once the parade finishes at around 12.30pm, spectators are encouraged to follow behind and make their way to the Recreation Ground to enjoy the rest of the fun-filled day.

In the Main Arena there will be ample opportunity for families and carnival-goers to have fun.

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Activities include a fancy dress competition open to all ages. Judging will be from 1.30pm and entrants will need to sign up at the big yellow tent from 12.30pm.

For people feeling competitive and up for a challenge then they can try their hand at tug of war from 3.30pm. The event is for teams of between six and eight and interested parties can sign up via the website.

Crowds can also expect to see an unusual sight of up to 40 blue-haired teenagers walking through the town. The group will be raising money for charity fundraiser Denver's Journey, through the kids cancer charity Solving Kids Cancer.

Live sponsored head shave and waxings will also be taking place on the Recreation Ground for the same cause.

Another highlight of the day will be the McDonald's Music Stage and kicking off the line up will be Vibe City from 12.45pm. Other acts include Dean Vann, Ruddaz and Ralphy, and the Counterfeit Brits.

The most up-to-date information on the carnival can be found here ..

Dereham Carnival Crafters Dereham Carnival Crafters is group of mixed ages and abilities who work on various community projects for Dereham Carnival.

They will be yarn bombing the Market Place for the carnival again this year, with lots of fun surprises for the children.

The Crafters have also prepared a special display to mark the 100th anniversary of the Armistice, with the help of a Breckland District Council Heritage Grant The display will run for two weeks from carnival day in the town centre and a further two weeks in Dereham library.

The Crafters have many other projects they are working on, including Christmas, the carnival ball and next years carnival.

New crafters are welcomed and whatever level, there will be something in the group for everyone to try.

The Dereham Carnival Crafters meet on Wednesday mornings between 10.30am and 12.30am at Dereham library. They hold two evening meetings a month.

Dereham Carnival Rocks

The Dereham Carnival Rocks Facebook page was started in April 2018 to promote Dereham Carnival.

It now has 535 members.

Janet Fowler, a member of Dereham Carnival Crafters, explained how it works.

'It's like a treasure hunt,' she said. 'We create and hide decorated rocks.

'They are designed to brighten someone's day and bring a smile to the person who finds them.

'The rocks have instructions on one side. The idea is to take a photograph of any rock that is found, share it on social media so that the person who hid it in the first place can follow its journey, and then re-hide it in a new location.

'We like to encourage people to join in with the hunt, to create their own rocks to hide. Children especially love creating rocks and hiding them.'

The rocks have been hidden in the town centre and around the recreation ground.