Excitement building ahead of first ever Dereham Day
- Credit: Archant/Tim Cara
Anticipation is growing ahead of a new event aimed at celebrating all that is great about Dereham.
The first ever Dereham Day is set to take place this Saturday, May 14, with the Memorial Hall and adjacent Fleece Meadow at the centre of proceedings.
George Freeman, MP for Mid Norfolk, will launch the festivities from 10am, before a packed programme of demonstrations, activities and entertainment.
Friends of Norfolk Dialect (FOND) will treat audience members to their unique brand of humour at the closing concert from 7.30pm.
Around 50 local groups are getting involved with Dereham Day to showcase their skills and services after a difficult couple of years.
Tim Cara, chairman of Friends of Dereham Memorial Hall - which is helping to organise Dereham Day - said the occasion was an opportunity for the town to bounce back from coronavirus.
"We’re aiming to capture the imagination of the whole of Dereham, with a big reopening event to be held indoors and outdoors at the Memorial Hall.
"Not every local organisation has come through the lockdowns intact, but those who are under way again are full of energy and enthusiasm.
- 1 Tributes to 'brilliant role model' who worked tirelessly for his cricket club
- 2 Roadworks to be aware of in Norfolk this week
- 3 'Not a lot of spending' - Dereham traders report footfall decline
- 4 'Risk of injury' - Aldi recalls product due to safety fears
- 5 The Norfolk festival where under 13s get in for free
- 6 Norfolk man's relatable videos earn him millions of views and celeb fans
- 7 Heatwave to return this week - but how hot is Norfolk going to be?
- 8 Can you spot yourself in our pictures from Reepham Festival?
- 9 Health warning issued as temperatures to hit 34C in Norfolk this week
- 10 The secret gardens you can visit in Norfolk this September
"They can only grow stronger, and events like Dereham Day are a great way for them to reconnect."
Dereham Day is 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.
Railway Tavern landlord Paul Sandford, who is part of the organising team, added: "This is not a carnival, but it is a chance for Dereham to show that the town is coming alive again as a community.
"We can all feel proud to belong to Dereham. There should be something for everyone to enjoy or engage with."
While much of the Dereham Day offering will be free, net proceeds will go towards the local effort supporting Ukraine.
To buy tickets (£12 each) for the FOND show, visit ticketsource.co.uk/whats-on/dereham or call 01362 696900.
In celebration of Dereham Day, this week's Dereham Times will have special offers giving each reader free chips at the Railway Tavern, and a family hour of bowling at Strikes for just £22.95.
Pick up a copy of the Times in your local shop or from our stand on Saturday.