Exciting plans outlined for inaugural summer festival in Lowestoft

Lowestoft Summer Festival organisers putting together final preparations for next month's event. Jas

Lowestoft Summer Festival organisers putting together final preparations for next month's event. Jason Cookson, Derek Ward, Peter Dyer, Trevor Waters, Darren Newman and Danny Steel on Royal Green, Lowestoft. - Credit: Nick Butcher

A packed programme for Lowestoft's inaugural Summer Festival has been confirmed, with a visit by Team GB handball players and Channel Four's popular 'street velodrome' among the main attractions.

Since losing its popular airshow and carnival three years ago, Lowestoft has lacked a major community event to celebrate its civic pride.

It is hoped the Summer Festival between July 16 and 19 will help to fill some of that void, with a wide range of activities to raise money for charity.

Mark Lanham, from Lowestoft Lions - which is organising the event with the town's Rotary clubs, Lowestoft Rising and Lowestoft Vision Business Improvement District - said: 'The festival team by working together have achieved so much and the programme of events should bring fun and enjoyment to all.

'Please be positive and support it. We have tried to achieve something for you all to support and take part in. All the funds raised will go to local charities or projects, so if you see a collection bucket please make a donation. It will help those in need.

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'Please support the festival.'

Phil Aves, change manager at Lowestoft Rising, said: 'Lowestoft Rising is thrilled that the town has a four-day festival of activity and that it has been done by people of the town, for the town.

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'We hope that people will get involved in all the events and make it a memorable weekend.'

Danny Steel, director of Lowestoft Vision and a Rotary Club member, said: 'It's really good to see so many organisations and agencies coming together to put on an event that will benefit Lowestoft.

'We are also thankful to Waveney District Council, Suffolk County Council, East Coast Community Health, Sentinel Leisure Trust, Cycle Suffolk and county councillors Sonia Barker and David Bryant for all of their support.'

Some of the activities planned for the festival include:

PARADE ON THE PROM: On the Sunday at 2.30pm, non-motorised vehicles will embark on a parade which includes a number of local organisations, dance groups and bands. If you would like to take part in the parade, please contact Mark Lanham on 01502 718035.

STREET VELODROME: Street Velodrome UK will be in the town centre over the whole festival weekend. It begins with an open session where members of the public can experience velodrome racing against friends and family members. During Saturday there will be a local schools competition and battle of the Businesses.

Sunday's racing will be an open competition to find Lowestoft's fastest racer around the velodrome. The winner and fastest runners up will then be selected to join the professionals in the National series event which takes place from 3pm.

Professional riders taking part in the Lowestoft event include Jack Ravenscroft, who is the Under-23 Team GB Cyclocross champion, and Jess Stone, who was the 2010 British Downhill Champion.

SEAFRONT TRAIL: Organised by Lowestoft Lions, those taking part in the trail have to uncover the answers to a wide range of questions about the area. Trail sheets will be available from Cooks Furnishers and the Lions stall on Royal Green.

WOMEN ON WHEELS: This is a national incentive to encourage more women to ride a bike. The Lowestoft event will start from 2pm on Saturday, July 18 includes the choice of two routes five-mile or 20-mile. The event is open all females and those taking part are reminded to scan their Beat the Street cards. The event costs £10 for adults and £5 for those under-16.

SANDCASTLE COMPETITION: The event on the Sunday has been kindly sponsored by Persimmon Homes. Families and local businesses are encouraged to come down to create their own master piece in the sand. The winner will receive a £75 cash prize with other prizes available.

The sandcastle competition is £10 for a family or group of up to six, or £25 for a local business.

SPORTS DEMONSTRATIONS: Lowestoft Rotary club will also be hosting a range of sports demonstrations on Royal Green over the weekend, which includes the Team GB handball team and Lowestoft and Yarmouth Rugby Club.

What do you think of the plans for the Lowestoft Summer Festival? Write, giving your full contact details, to: Journal Postbox, 147 London Road North, Lowestoft NR32 1NB or email andrew.papworth@archant.co.uk

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