Worstead Festival returns this summer promising 'optimism and cheer'

The Worstead Festival 2019 seen from the tower of St Mary’s Church

The Worstead Festival 2019 seen from the tower of St Mary’s Church Worstead. - Credit: Supplied by Kevin Geary

A village festival promising something for everyone is set to return this summer with a line-up of circus performers, musicians and some of the county's top chefs. 

The Worstead Festival, a two-day celebration of rural life, will take place on July 30 and 31 after two years away due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It has been the longest break since the event began in 1966 as a way of raising funds for the village church of St Mary the Virgin.

Worstead Festival

The Worstead Festival will take place this year on July 30 and 31. - Credit: Supplied by Kevin Geary

Jane Bond, chair of the trustees, said: "We want to bring back some cheer and optimism.

"And because small businesses have been having such a hard time recently, we've decided not to increase the price of a pitch for stall-holders as planned," she added.

The price for a spot at the festival will be £100 for the whole weekend.

One of the main attractions this year will be Foolhardy Circus which is returning to Worstead after touring the world.

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Circus director Cosmo Hardy said: "It's slapstick and slosh, which means lots of water and lots of laughs.

"There will be free circus workshops all day too where everyone can have a go at skills like juggling, walking a tightrope or unicycling."

Willow Phoenix will entertain children with creative activities including lantern making and mosaics from recycled material, while Westover Vets will host a dog show.

Headlining the music stage on the Saturday night are The Stereotypes, who play indie and Britpop.

A full running order of performers can be seen at worsteadfestival.org.

For more than 50 years Worstead Village Festival has been promoting and celebrating local crafts, pr

For more than 50 years Worstead Village Festival has been promoting and celebrating local crafts, produce and North Norfolk heritage.Picture: MARK BULLIMORE - Credit: Archant

Chefs from some of Norfolk's top-rated restaurants will demonstrate their skills. Names include Daniel Smith of the Ingham Swan, which has just won its third AA rosette, Richard Bainbridge from Benedicts, Roger Hickman of Hickmans, Jamie Norfolk of the Blakeney House Hotel and Steven Norgate.

Emma Mortimer, of Beach Hut Charm which will have a stall at the festival, said: "I first went there as a teenager to listen to the music. It's like a school reunion. It's going to be great."

Car parking is free and all the trains will stop at Worstead station for the weekend. Children under 12 go for free.

Ron Barrett, chair of Worstead Parish Council, said: "The festival has always been a marvellous community event. It not only raises money for good works but it unites the whole village, young and old. Something for everyone."