Excitement builds ahead of Worstead Festival return

The Worstead Festival is returning. 

The Worstead Festival is returning. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

From live music to circus acts and even terrier racing, there are all sorts of things planned for the Worstead Festival.

The two-day event is returning to the village near North Walsham this weekend (July 30-31), for the first time since 2019 following a hiatus due to the pandemic. 

Simon Gray, one of the festival volunteers, said: "There will be a lot of great things happening. It's really exciting to have it back again and see the village pulling together." 

Mr Gray said this year's festival would have an added poignancy for himself and the community, as it would be the first since his wife, Lorraine, died in June last year. 

Mr Gray said: "This is the first time I've done without my wife, who was behind the chef demos and artisan food producers - so that has left quite a big hole."

Mrs Gray worked with volunteers to set up a demonstration kitchen 10 years ago, and it will return for this year's festival featuring the likes of Bruce Patterson from Worstead Wagyu, Steve Norgate from Chef Norgate, Richard Bainbridge from Benedict's, Daniel Smith from the Ingham Swan and Roger Hickman.

A dog show at the Worstead Festival. The popular event is returning this weekend. 

A dog show at the Worstead Festival. The popular event is returning this weekend. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Mr Gray said: "Lorraine conceived and developed the attraction and enjoyed visiting many of the county's leading restaurants and hotels begging chefs to give their time to support the festival and since then the feature has attracted more and more chefs, cooks and artisan food producers."

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Other attractions will include stalls - including those selling crafts made in the village - a Lego tent organised by Worstead VC primary school, a circus school and licenced bars. 

The festival - which is taking place this year for the 57th time - is on 10am-7pm on Saturday and 10am-6pm on Sunday. 

The event began in 1965 when it was founded to raise money to save the church.

It raises money for the festival charity's grant fund by promoting the crafts, produce and heritage of the region.

Parking is free, entry is £6 for adults and children under 12 go free. Dogs on leads are welcome. Visit www.worsteadfestival.org to find out more.