It's coming home! Bowls festival to return to Great Yarmouth seafront

Lucy Tufts and Sheila Crysell in action at Great Yarmouth. Picture: James Bass

Lucy Tufts and Sheila Crysell in action at Great Yarmouth. Picture: James Bass - Credit: James Bass

A serene but hotly contested sporting spectacle will be back on Great Yarmouth's seafront after a two-year gap due to Covid.

The Great Yarmouth Festival of Bowls will be held between Sunday, August 28 and Friday, September 23.

The festival is the largest outdoor bowls festival in the country and has been running for 75 years.

Much to the sadness of bowls players and spectators the annual event was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid crisis.

But organisers are looking forward to seeing spectators at the Britannia Bowling Green watching top action in tournaments for men, ladies, and mixed teams in single, pairs, triples, fours and under 25s games.

It is is organised by Great Yarmouth Borough Council and the Festival of Bowls Committee.

Graham Plant, chairman of the council's economic development committee, said: "We are excited to confirm the return of our beloved bowls festival.

"The festival attracts hundreds of players and fans from all over, which really boosts the economy.

"It's also a great attraction for local families and residents too.”

Great Yarmouth Festival of Bowls 2018. Picture: Brian Grint

Great Yarmouth Festival of Bowls 2018. Picture: Brian Grint - Credit: Brian Grint

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Lyndon Bevan, is the chairman of Visit Great Yarmouth which is the headline sponsor of the festival.

He said: “It will be wonderful to welcome back the players, their families and bowls fans and enjoy the great atmosphere they bring back to the seafront.

"Great Yarmouth is the UK’s bowls capital, and we believe Great Yarmouth seafront is the best outdoor bowls venue in the country.

"The festival attracts people of all ages from far and wide, who can also explore the huge variety of entertainment, restaurants, pubs and attractions that our destination offers.”

Entries for competitors close on Thursday, June 30.

An entry form can be downloaded from the Visit Great Yarmouth website, with a new online entry form with online payment option also available.

The bowl festival committee is also seeking someone to become its voluntary chairman. Apply by visiting gybc.engageats.co.uk

The bowls festival was given the green light thanks to funding from Visit Great Yarmouth, following a funding application from the marketing, engagement and events team at the council.