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Sunny times for Great Yarmouth’s Mardi Gras

PUBLISHED: 18:11 08 March 2011

Yarmouth Mardi gras festival 2011.

Yarmouth Mardi gras festival 2011.

Archant © 2011

INTERNATIONAL celebration was the order of the day at Great Yarmouth’s Mardi Gras festival.

In contrast to a sodden event last year, sunshine shone down on the well attended proceedings, which took place on King Street today and involved a wide array of street artists and entertainment.

Run by Seachange Arts, the afternoon’s activities marked pancake day and kicked off at 4pm, running for two hours.

Over that time, those taking part had the chance to experience everything from towering flame-throwing metal sculptures through to mass participation pancake race shenanigans, while a band named Swingball provided a soundtrack with their exotic array of instruments.

All the while French arts group Generik Vapeur marked the transition to warmer weather by enacting a traditional Lithuanian feud between Fatso, representing winter, and Hempen, the springtime saviour.

Sharon Johnson, 46, was impressed with what she saw. She said: “I think it’s lovely, and it’s great to see something with an international theme to it.

“I think it’s more and more important to have something that can bring communities together.”

Seachange Arts director Joe Mackintosh pointed to the growth of the Out There Festival, which the organisation also runs, as an example of how such events can evolve.

He said: “It’s going very well and it’s all running smoothly, and the weather is a wonderful improvement.

“For me it’s great to see everyone working together over the weekend to set this up, and we’re trying more and more to get the local community involved with what’s going on.”

Also taking place alongside the Mardi Gras was the Great Yarmouth Library Exhibition, which runs until Saturday showcasing the thoughts and memories of the townspeople.


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