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Lowestoft Air Festival preview

PUBLISHED: 07:00 22 July 2009 | UPDATED: 10:59 06 July 2010

Visitors to the 13th Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival are being urged to pay £2 each to ensure its survival, in a make-or-break year for the popular two-day show.

Visitors to the 13th Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival are being urged to pay £2 each to ensure its survival, in a make-or-break year for the popular two-day show.

Organisers of the event, which takes place tomorrow and Friday , have been forced to double the amount people are being asked to donate because of the economic downturn.

But with some of the world's most famous aircraft set to soar through the skies, the organisers said that £2 was still “awesome” value for money.

Last year visitors were asked to donate £1 for the free event and festival managing director Paul Bayfield said money raised from that had ensured this year's show went ahead.

Mr Bayfield said: “The two key things to get across this year are that the air display is the best ever and we are requesting the public give £2 to see the festival.

“We are considerably short through our sponsorship and fund-raising projects, and the £2 is vitally important in the current economic conditions.

“The decision to ask for £2 rather than £1 was made to bridge the funding gap as, for the first time ever this year, we have had to dip into the 'wet weather contingency', which we have always had in place in case of two bad days of weather.

“Clearly, if people did not pay, it would have a potential impact on whether it can take place in 2010 and we don't want that to happen. That's why we are requesting the £2.

“We trust everybody to put the £2 in the buckets and we hope people will respond in a positive way.

“Two pounds is not a pint of beer - not even a decent ice cream. It's absolutely awesome value for money, as at other similar shows people could pay up to £38 for tickets.”

The event has been organised by the Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival charitable trust for the past five years, with the help of corporate sponsors and donations from visitors to the seafront. It will cost between £320,000 and £326,000 to put on this year's festival.

Last year's event raised £81,000, of which more than £28,000 went back to charities, and Mr Bayfield said they were hoping to at least raise that amount again.

An estimated 420,000 people came on the two days last year and the event won the Tourism in Suffolk award for the Best Festival or Event in 2008.

This year, aircraft from France, the USA and Netherlands will be joining old favourites at the event, with the French Air Force adding two Alpha Jet twin engine subsonic training craft to the already impressive line-up of 22 displays on both days.

Airshow favourites the Red Arrows and the world's only flying Cold War Avro Vulcan are also expected to draw the crowds.

The air festival took place for the first time in July 1997 and was organised by Waveney District Council.

The displays are scheduled to start at 12.30pm tomorrow and at 11.30am on Friday .

Don't miss the chance to get your hands on a £2 goody bag on both days of the airshow, containing an EDP, Lowestoft Journal, a colour poster of the Vulcan Bomber, a bottle of water, packet of Kettle crisps and fresh fruit.

The Journal, out tomorrow, features a free 24-page pull-out about the show, while tomorrow's and Friday's EDP has a competition to win a flight with The Blades formation flying team.

Our sellers will be near the East Point Pavilion and near McDonald's in London Road North.

The two days of airborne entertainment will be followed on Saturday and Sunday in Lowestoft by the Honda Formula 4-Stroke offshore powerboat grand prix.

Tomorrow's line-up starts at 12.30pm and features: Paracahute Display Team, 4 x Extra 300, Supermarine Spitfire, BAe Hawk, Westland Lynx, DH Venom, Hawker Sea Hawk, Dornier Alphabet, Boeing KC 135, Gloster Meteor, Lanc. Spit. Hurri., Swift/Pawnee/Twister, Hawker Hunter, 2 x Stearman, Avro Vulcan, Bolkow BK117, Hunting Jet Provost, Sikorsky HH 60 G, Grob Tutor, Gen Dynam. F16, Sea King SAR/Lifeboat, and then RAFAT Red Arrows from about 5pm.

Friday's line-up starts at 11.30am with the RAFAT Red Arrows, followed by 2 x Stearman, Dornier Alphabet, DH Venom, Grob Tutor, Westland Lynx, Hunting Jet Provost, BAe Hawk, Supermarine Spitfire, Boeing KC 135, Hawker Hunter, Bolkow BK117, Parachute Display Team, Lanc. Spit. Hurri., Honda Speedboats, Avro Vulcan, Swift/Pawneee/Twister, Gloster Meteor, Gen Dynam. F16, Sikorsky HH 60 G, Hawker Sea Hawk, 4 x Extra 300, Sea King SAR/Lifeboat.

Car parking:

All the main seafront car parks will be closed including disabled parking. Also most of the on-street parking on Marine Parade and Kirkley Cliff will be no parking, coned off and designated a tow-away zone.

A park and ride bus scheme, coasting £10 per car, will be in operation, with parking at Dip Farm in Corton, and at Africa Alive, Kessingland. These car parks will be open from 8.30am on both days. Both sites close at midnight on Thursday and 10pm on Friday. The first bus will leave at 9am and the last return bus for both sites will be at 11pm Thursday and 8pm on Friday. The buses will run at about 10-30 minute intervals. There will be a limited wheelchair mini bus service from both sites.

Additional car parking is available at £7 per car on Pakefield Cliffs accessed from Pakefield Street.

Disabled car parking is available at Belvedere Road car park where coaches may also park. Park and walk is available from Asda Horn Hill, costing £10 per car.

Kirkley and Pakefield Football Club is also offering airshow car parking at Pakefield Park, Walmer Road, at £6 per car.

Trains:

National Express East Anglia is providing extra trains between Norwich and Lowestoft on Thursday and Friday. In addition to the scheduled services, extra trains will run at 9.30am, 9.45am, 11.10am, and 11.55am from Norwich to Lowestoft, and 6pm and 7.57pm from Lowestoft to Norwich.

Weather: A forecaster from Weatherquest at the UEA said there should be a dry start to Thursday with heavy rain in the evening and night. The forecast for Friday is sunny spells to start and then some heavy rain and, maybe, thunder from noon into the afternoon.

Waveney District Council is asking residents who have their bins collected on Thursday and Friday to put them out by 6.30am.

Log on to www.EDP24.co.uk for regular updates on the two-day event.

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