Festival exotic costumes boost thanks to splash of cash

Great Yarmouth Arts Festival mammoth parade.

Great Yarmouth Arts Festival mammoth parade. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Ever more exotic and spectacular carnival costumes will take to the streets of Great Yarmouth this summer thanks to a splash of cash.

Two grants totalling more that £23,000 have been handed to Great Yarmouth Arts Festival ahead of its third showpiece parade in June.

One for £14,980 has come from the Arts Council England through its Grants for the Arts programme, with a second award for £8,375 made by the Greater Yarmouth Tourism and Business Improvement Area.

Organisers say it means the parade - set to feature giant rock ‘n’ roll puppets - will be “bigger and better” than the previous two.

Taking its inspiration from the Halfway to Paradise exhibition on loan from the V&A at the Time and Tide Museum more than 40 groups will be taking part in the procession focusing on music and modes of transport from canoes to magic carpets.

The parade on June 4 will start on the seafront, pass up Regent Road, through the Market Place, along King Street and then divide.

Part will go to the library where a community fair will be held, and the rest of the parade will go back to the Market Place to perform.

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Throughout the day there will be music, dancing, acrobats, art on the railings and many other activities.

The plaza at St George’s will be the setting for a Battle of the Buskers.

Meanwhile, thanks to the funding boost, Mahogany Carnival, which provided costumes for the London Olympics and helps with the Luton Carnival and others worldwide, will be coming to Yarmouth for a weekend to hold master-classes to teach local artists how to make exotic costumes.

The carnival marks the start of a week of music, theatre, visual art and promotion of Yarmouth’s great heritage leading up to the Queen’s official 90th birthday which will be marked by a concert in the Minster.

Festival chairman Hugh Sturzaker said: “We are extremely grateful to the Arts Council and the Greater Yarmouth Tourism and Business Improvement Area for these awards.

“It shows the confidence they have in the Arts Festival which has been going for four years. Its aims are to increase people’s interest and participation in the arts in all their forms, to showcase what is great in Yarmouth, to raise the aspirations of the young and to help the local economy by increasing the number of visitors to the borough. “In addition, we want people to participate in the activities we are providing and to enjoy themselves.”

Tricia Hall, chair of arts group Creative Collisions, said “Twenty five young people from the network will work alongside professional puppet makers Tinhouse Arts to create five giant rock ’n’ roll puppets for the parade. Young artists relish the opportunity to learn new skills and produce something on such a spectacular scale which they can show off to the whole community. This will be the third time that we have participated in the festival parade and it is a real highlight of the year.”

Colin Stott, learning manager for Norfolk Museums Service based at the Time and Tide Museum and chairman of the Cultural Education Partnership, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to bring community groups together with arts, heritage and cultural organisations to celebrate this exciting time in Great Yarmouth’s history and also to showcase the fabulous mix of different cultures present in the town today.”

For more information visit www.greatyarmouthartsfestival.co.uk or find them on Facebook and Twitter.