What's happening in Dereham in 2022?
- Credit: Archant/PA
The year 2021 was another whirlwind, with much of it dominated by coronavirus and its impact on our daily lives.
While Covid is not going anywhere, there is hope that far fewer plans and events will be disrupted over the course of 2022.
Here are just some of the highlights we can look forward to in Dereham and the surrounding area.
Dereham Blues Festival
The biggest event in Dereham's calendar is set to return in 2022 for the first time in three years.
The much-loved and widely-acclaimed musical extravaganza will be back this summer, running from July 6 to 10.
In 2019, no less than 50 blues acts played in 13 different venues, as the festival attracted thousands of families and blues enthusiasts to mid Norfolk.
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A date has been fixed for this exciting celebration, which is set to showcase all that is great about Dereham.
The very first 'Dereham Day' is set to take place on Saturday, May 14, promising a programme packed full of activities and entertainment.
A similar event, called Dereham Fringe Festival, took place back in September 2017 and was subsequently hailed as a huge success.
Dereham Memorial Hall will be at the heart of the event.
Queen's Jubilee events
In 2022, The Queen will become the first British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee - marking 70 years of service.
There will be a programme of events throughout the year, with many taking place over an extended bank holiday weekend from Thursday, June 2 to Sunday, June 5.
Dereham-based individuals and organisations met in December to share ideas, with details on specific plans set to become clear in the coming weeks.
Pubs could also be given permission to stay open into the early hours.
The Polar Express on the Mid Norfolk Railway
The Mid Norfolk Railway's popular train ride enjoyed its busiest year yet in 2021, having sold more than 30,000 tickets.
The run of shows was, however, sadly curtailed by the spiralling spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant.
But the Polar Express will be back for the 2022 festive season, ready to get families in the festive spirit.
Ticketing information has not yet been released.
Reepham Classic Car and Bike Show
It is hoped this local favourite for families and petrolheads will make its return in 2022.
Uncertainty surrounding coronavirus prompted the show's cancellation for the second year in a row in 2021, when organisers had hoped to honour the memory of founder Peter Fitzjohn.
Committee member Hugh Ivins said previously that a new 'Peter Fitzjohn Trophy' would be presented to the winner of best car in show.
Norfolk World Music Festival
Another event to be cancelled in 2021, Norfolk World Music Festival is aimed at bringing music from across the globe to the heart of the Norfolk countryside.
The festival takes place in Southburgh, near Shipdham, but was called off last year over "public uncertainty".
A date for 2022 is yet to be announced.
The creation of Dereham's new country park
Assuming its purchase is successful, Dereham Town Council is due acquire 22 hectares of arable land to the north of the town's Etling View housing development.
This will enable the creation of a 160-acre country park, bridging Neatherd Moor in the west with Etling Green in the east.
Be sure to visit derehamtimes.co.uk for the latest updates on this exciting story.