Organisers hail success of first ever Dereham Day
- Credit: Denise Bradley
Organisers say they were overwhelmed at the success of a new event which celebrated all things Dereham.
The first ever Dereham Day was held on Saturday (May 14), with the Memorial Hall and adjacent Fleece Meadow at the centre of proceedings.
George Freeman, MP for Mid Norfolk, officially launched Dereham Day at 10am, before a packed programme of demonstrations, activities and entertainment got under way.
Hundreds of people dropped in throughout the day as more than 50 local groups showcased their skills and services following a difficult couple of years.
Tim Cara, chairman of Friends of Dereham Memorial Hall - which helped to organise Dereham Day - said the occasion had gone above and beyond his expectations.
"It was a fantastic turnout - we are talking thousands of people," he added.
"The whole day, and the amount of people who came along, definitely surpassed what we expected.
"With a lot of the indoor performances in the hall, like the Galaxy Twirlers, Rockavox and Busybodies, all the seats were taken which was phenomenal.
- 1 Fears access road for new housing will be built on sacred land
- 2 Why this Dereham store is attracting athletes from across the UK
- 3 Troops parade through Dereham after being given freedom of the town
- 4 Biker taken to hospital after crash involving SUV
- 5 Drink driver caught at three times legal limit on A1067
- 6 Village chapel could be converted into homes
- 7 Chance to try leisure centre for free at open day
- 8 Norfolk festival cancelled amid 'challenging year'
- 9 Hinton sends farewell message to fans after leaving Magpies
- 10 Man to pay out almost £400 after fishing in River Wensum in close season
"The feedback so far has all been positive, and it turned out to be a very important event for local groups. A number of organisations managed to pick up some more volunteers.
"People were also saying they had seen faces they had not seen for years, which is what Dereham Day was all about."
Dereham Day was not the first event of its kind to be held in the town.
A similar extravaganza, called Dereham Fringe Festival, took place back in September 2017 and was subsequently hailed as a huge success.
It is also hoped Dereham Day will go some way towards filling the void of Dereham Carnival, which was a huge success story in the 2010s before being indefinitely cancelled in 2019 for financial reasons.
Hosting the inaugural edition has certainly given Mr Cara and fellow organisers plenty of food for thought, and he hopes the event will only get bigger and better.
"We've sent feedback forms to all those who took and we are asking them to be brutal," he said.
"It was quite a lot to take on with a small number of volunteers. I would happily do it again with a bigger team.
"In terms of how often we do it, we are keeping all options open."