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It's Carnival Time!

17 June 2016

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It’s that time of year again! From colourful floats and street performers to outdoor theatre and fireworks, the Lord Mayor’s Celebration signals carnival time in Norwich; 3 days of music, sports, performance and, most importantly, fun!

The diverse programme of events runs from Friday 1 to Sunday 3 July, so get the dates in your diary now and don’t miss out! Here’s a selection of some of the best of what’s going on, visit the website for full programme details.

AL-FRESCO PERFORMANCE, URBAN ART AND ACID JAZZ

The weekend’s certainly not just for families and kids; grown-ups are in luck too with a variety of kooky adult entertainment. Watch the Lord Mayor’s 5km Road Race (4.50pm, 1 July)  starting from Agricultural Hall Plain and winding through the city, triumphantly finishing in Tombland; 5k may seem like a relatively small distance but prepare yourselves for some very fast running from local athletes – no slow-coaches allowed!

Fans of al-fresco theatre should definitely reserve some time on either Friday or Saturday night and head to the Whiffler Theatre in Castle Gardens; here you can see free performances 1549: The Story Of Ketts Rebellion (written by Simon Floyd and Karl Minns of Nimmo Twins fame), telling the tale of Norfolk’s famous rebellion led by Robert Kett. Catch the show from 7.30pm - 9.15pm on Friday 1 July and 1pm - 2.45pm on Saturday 2 July.

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The excitement continues, join the Girls from Finch (a wonderful contemporary fashion shop on St Benedicts Street) between 5 and 7pm, then Tropica between 7 and 10pm, to dance to a range of amazing tunes (acid jazz, anyone?), or get involved in Dream Yard’s Walking Tours (8.30 & 10pm) as Claire Hind and Gary Winters wind through the city travelling “into the world of dreams and the unconscious”. Sounds intriguing? We think so too!

The city’s first Urban Art Fair will showcase the work of more than 30 local artists and turn St Peter’s Street into an open-air gallery from 11am to 4pm on Sunday 3 July. There will also be live music, drawing and print-making at this new addition to the Lord Mayor’s Celebration weekend.

Plus of course there’s old favourites back for 2016 including the Gas Hill Gasp, the BBC Voices Bandstand Gig and the wonderful fireworks display which will be launched from Norwich Castle to a carnival soundtrack on Saturday night!

LAUNCH PADS, PROCESSIONS AND DUCK RACING

New this year is the Lord Mayor’s Launch Pad at Chantry Car Park where Culture Works East will be running free activities for eight to 16-year-olds (12noon to 10pm on Saturday 2 July), guaranteed to get bring out kids’ – and parents’ – creative sides! Avoid sad faces (and possible tantrums) by pre-booking to guarantee a place on some of the most popular workshops; visit www.cultureworkseast.co.uk/launchpad to do so - or you can just turn up on the day!

The crafts continue (a tried and tested way to keep little ones entertained) with Children’s Corner in Chapelfield Gardens (2 July, 11am-5pm) and there’s a whole host of street performers to entrance kids and adults alike. Make sure you also check out fantastic music acts outside The Forum, on St Gregory’s Green and Gentleman’s Walk.

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On Sunday take the whole family to the Bishop of Norwich Open Gardens at Norwich Cathedral (1-5pm) to explore four glorious acres which aren’t usually open to the public, and make sure you’ve got your lucky duck ready for the Great Norwich Duck Race (2pm). Cross your fingers and hope that it doesn’t get stuck - the fate of many a duck in the past!

As ever, the Lord Mayor’s Procession (2 July) is the headline act, the highlight of the weekend, with 70 decorated floats, dancers and acrobats winding their way through the city. The parade will move off from St Stephens Street at 5pm to entertain the crowds gathered along Castle Meadow, Tombland and Whitefriars – try and get to the front of the crowds to be near the inevitable freebies that will be coming your way (lollipops and stickers galore!)

For more information about the Lord Mayor’s Celebration, go to www.norwich.gov.uk/events, follow @NorwichCC on Twitter or Norwich City Council Events on Facebook.