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4,000 Guides heading for a Beach Party!

PUBLISHED: 10:35 26 February 2010 | UPDATED: 16:52 30 June 2010

FROM footballers to a world-famous soprano and extravagant street artists... Great Yarmouth will be playing host to them all this year.

And now joining the line-up will be up to 4,000 Guides celebrating 100 years of their association in Norfolk.

FROM footballers to a world-famous soprano and extravagant street artists... Great Yarmouth will be playing host to them all this year.

And now joining the line-up will be up to 4,000 Guides celebrating 100 years of their association in Norfolk.

For Guide county commissioner Helen Green, the decision to hold the event on Yarmouth seafront reflects a deep change in how the town is perceived. She said: “If we were thinking about doing the same thing 10 or 15 years ago I'm sure we wouldn't have even considered the area, but things have really moved on.

“When we were looking for somewhere to hold the event, a lot of us had old memories of the town in our minds, but when we came here to scout the area out we were really very impressed.”

The centenary celebrations on September 18 will involve everything from exclusive Hippodrome shows to games on the beach.

They are also an indication of the way in which Yarmouth - which at the last count received £471m a year from tourism - is trying to grow as a hot ticket for countywide and national groups.

Kirsty Burn, of Greater Yarmouth Tourist Authority, said: “We're doing a really good job of promoting Great Yarmouth at the moment, and money has really been invested into the seafront in recent years. There is also the quality of the beach and the amount of things for people to do in the area.”

Among key events to go ahead this year are Lesley Garrett's recitals at the Hippodrome and another Out There street arts festival. That's also not to forget the town's growing ties with volleyball; as well as being a venue on the Volleyball England Beach Tour, the Olympic team will be using Yarmouth as “base camp” for the 2012 Olympics.

Roger Finney, of Vauxhall Holiday Park, said out-of-season bookings with national and countywide organisations were growing rapidly.

He added: “The demand has grown almost beyond recognition in the last three years, and the number of enquiries we're getting is phenomenal. It's not just Vauxhall: it's across the holiday industry in the area.”

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