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The Blades will cut through the Cromer Carnival skies, even if the Red Arrows can’t

PUBLISHED: 13:30 23 October 2018 | UPDATED: 13:32 23 October 2018

The Blades will be at next year's Cromer Carnival. Photo: Archant Library

The Blades will be at next year's Cromer Carnival. Photo: Archant Library

Archant

The roar of aircraft engines will be heard over Cromer during next year’s carnival even if, as feared, the Red Arrows will not be able to make it.

Blades pilots Andy Evans, right, leader, and James McMillan, with one of their Extra 300 aircraft at Seething Airfield, preparing for a Haven Great Yarmouth Air Show. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYBlades pilots Andy Evans, right, leader, and James McMillan, with one of their Extra 300 aircraft at Seething Airfield, preparing for a Haven Great Yarmouth Air Show. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Organisers of the 2019 Cromer Carnival - its 50th - have confirmed that the Blades acrobatic team will put on a show-stopping display, and they are also looking into whether other aerial display teams can attend.

Although it has not yet been confirmed, the Red Arrows will likely not be able to get to next year’s carnival because they have a nine-week tour of North America scheduled for August and September.

The carnival, one of Norfolk’s biggest, takes place August 17 to 23.

Tony Shipp, carnival chairman, said: “We have not yet been officially informed that they will not be attending Cromer Carnival, although most likely in the circumstances. In the meantime we have been busy applying for other aerial displays and the Blades have now confirmed that they will be with us on Carnival Day. We also have other applications in the pipeline, which we will make public as and when they are confirmed. We are all disappointed with the possibility of not having the Red Arrows with us next year, especially as it is our 50th anniversary, as they have been the highlight of so many carnivals in the past since 1980.

The Blades in flight. Picture: Geert Van de PutThe Blades in flight. Picture: Geert Van de Put

“In addition to any aerial displays, we have an exciting programme of arena favourites planned along with all the usual carnival attractions.”

The Red Arrows are embark on their first major tour of the US and Canada in more than 25 years.

Air Vice-Marshal Warren James, the senior RAF officer responsible for the Red Arrows, added: “The deployment of the Red Arrows will demonstrate the global reach and capability of the RAF and our continuing support of the United Kingdom’s defence and commerce industries.”

He said the Red Arrows would showcase the: “excellence, professionalism and proud heritage in education, engineering, technology and finance to our allies.”

The Blades perform in Great Yarmouth earlier this year.  Picture: Nick ButcherThe Blades perform in Great Yarmouth earlier this year. Picture: Nick Butcher

The Blades acrobatic team, which consists of former Red Arrows pilots, is renown for its precision close-formation displays, and fly low-wing, propeller-driven Extra EA-300s.

The team, which is based in Northamptonshire, made their debut performance in 2006 at a party held by David Beckham prior to the World Cup.

MORE: Red Arrows likely to miss Cromer Carnival’s 50th anniversary

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