The Norfolk year
Stay out and about in 2018, and make the most of Norfolk. REBECCA MACNAUGHTON rounds up the best things to see, hear and do throughout the year...
52 things happening in the county in 2018
NEW YEAR’S DAY FIREWORKS
Cromer will see in the new year with its spectacular annual fireworks display. Begins at 5pm.
1st PLUNGE INTO 2018
Kickstart the New Year with a dip in the North Sea on Sheringham beach and support RNLI Sheringham. Starts at 11am – don’t forget to bring a towel!
12th – 28th INDOOR BOWLS
This year will mark 20 years since the World Indoor Bowls Championships first took centre stage on the Norfolk coast. Head to Potters Resort to watch the action in one of the sport’s most prestigious competitions. www.pottersholidays.com
FEBRUARY 1st - 2nd A KING’S RANSOM
This is the story of Robin Hood, but there’s just one problem... where’s Robin? Into Opera and Britten Sinfonia will unite with over 160 school children to tell this extraordinary story. Starts at 7pm. www.opennorwich.org.uk
10th THE SQUARE BOX ON THE HILL
As part of its Gateway to Medieval England project, Norwich Castle will be showcasing its history through an exhibition of prints, photographs, paintings, plans and archives – many of which have never been seen before. As well as the past, the exhibition will also look towards the future, shedding light on the latest designs for its upcoming redevelopment. Runs until June 3, 2018. www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk
14th KING’S LYNN MART
Celebrate all the fun of the fair with this traditional celebration, dating back 800 years. It will include rides, side stalls and – of course – plenty of candy floss.
17th – 18th THE EDP WEDDING SHOW
Whatever stage of wedding planning you’re at, Bride: The Wedding Show, at the Norfolk Showground will be able to help. With exhibitors showcasing dream dresses, spectacular venues and expert photographers, there’s no doubt that you’ll come away inspired and excited for the big day ahead. 10am – 4pm. www.bridetheweddingshow.co.uk
20th – 24th CHEERS!
Set in the magnificent medieval friary halls of Norwich is the Winter Beer Festival, offering a selection of light, ruby and dark real ales alongside foreign beers, ciders and perries, as well as live entertainment and fantastic food. winter.gbbf.org.uk
MARCH 5th – 15th
COUNTY MUSIC FESTIVAL
This unique music festival provides opportunities for Norfolk’s many talented musicians to hone their performance skills at venues across Norwich. www.norfolkmusic.org.uk
12th GET MAKING
Maker’s Month returns to The Forum with free exhibitions, demonstrations and activities and, whether you want to knit, sew, crochet, spin or sculpt, there will be something new for everyone to try with bookable workshops, fascinating talks and open exhibitions. Works on display will range from huge handwoven willow structures to ceramics, furniture and bespoke bicycles. Runs until April 7. www.theforumnorwich.co.uk
16-18th FICTION FESTIVAL
The King’s Lynn Fiction Festival brings an intimate weekend of talks, readings and debates to the town with some of the country’s top authors and poets. This year’s line-up includes Louis Top: The Siberian State Ballet
There will be lots to do at The Forum as part of Maker’s Month de Bernières, Rachel Hore, Peter Benson and Guinevere Glasfurd, with more to follow. All events take place in the town hall. Entry is £8.50 for each event, or £37.50 for an all-events weekend pass. www.lynnlitfests.com
23rd – 24th SPRINGFEST
OPEN’s iconic banking hall in Norwich will host a weekendlong celebration, featuring the very best in food, drink and entertainment from Europe, Asia, the Americas, Australasia and Africa. Those attending will even be able to take full advantage of a world spirits lounge, allowing guests the chance to sample unique drinks with a global flavour. www.opennorwich.org.uk
24th – September 2 SUPERSTRUCTURES
A new exhibition at the Sainsbury Centre will explore the fusion of architecture and technology in the post-war decades, inviting visitors to learn more about the Sainsbury Centre’s magnificent structure. www.scva.ac.uk
24th – April 15 EASTER AT BLICKLING
Celebrate the Easter holidays with a seasonal trail through the Blickling Estate. Get to the end of the trail and you will be rewarded with your very own Easter shortbread! www.nationaltrust.org. uk/blickling-estate
APRIL 1st – 5th ART WEEK
The parish hall in Cromer will be getting arty, showing more than 400 works of art and craft by over 90 artists, alongside work by local schools and community groups. Entry is free. www.cromercarnival.co.uk
2nd – 4th SETTING THE BARRE
The very best in ballet comes to Norwich Theatre Royal as the Russian State Ballet of Siberia brings Snow Maiden, Swan Lake and Romeo & Juliet to the stage. www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk
10th SPRING FLING
At the Norfolk Spring Fling at the Royal Norfolk Showground you can learn more about food, farming and the countryside in a fun-filled day for all the family. www.springfling.rnaa.org.uk
26th – 28th BLICKING IN BLUE
Nothing says spring quite like a bluebell, and Blickling Estate will be celebrating the season with a series of guided bluebell walks in honour of its Blue Festival, which runs from April 19 – May 19. www.nationaltrust.org. uk/blickling-estate
28th – 29th WOW!
The Women of the World Festival is a global movement which celebrates women and girls,
looking at the obstacles which stop them from achieving their potential. Made up of talks, debates, music, activism, pop-ups and performances, it will tackle global issues and discuss possible solutions. www.opennorwich.org.uk
28th-29th EAST ANGLIAN GAME AND COUNTRY FAIR
Held at the Euston Estate near Thetford, the East Anglian Game and Country Fair will be packed full of countryside stalls, activities and entertainment. Adults £15, children £6, family ticket £40. www.ukgamefair.co.uk
28th – May 13 GO OUTSIDE
Get out and about by the water at the Broads Outdoors Festival. From guided walks to canoeing lessons, there will be lots of ways to explore our county’s beautiful national park. www.visitthebroads.co.uk
MAY 11th – 27th
NORFOLK AND NORWICH FESTIVAL
Don’t miss 17 days of wonderful performance, music, literature and art across venues in Norwich and Norfolk, including a literature festival at Dragon Hall in Norwich and Wayfaring, a journey of exploration and migration along part of the North Norfolk coast. Full programme to follow. www.nnfestival.org.uk
19th – 20th CRAB AND LOBSTER FESTIVAL
Head to Cromer and Sheringham for a lively celebration of the North Norfolk coast, including a traditional variety concert at Cromer Pier Pavilion Theatre. www.crabandlobsterfestival.co.uk
26th ROCK ON!
Let’s Rock Norwich returns to Earlham Park for another year, featuring stars such as Jason Donavan, Nick Heyward and Toyah. www.letsrocknorwich.com
JUNE 22nd JAZZ AGE
Put your glad rags on for the annual Norfolk Show Ball. Hosted by Big C, Norfolk’s cancer charity, it will be a ritzy, dazzling throwback to the dark nights and bright lights of the roaring twenties. Featuring live entertainment and music, a game of heads and tails and a glamorous charity auction, it is bound to be a showstopper. www.royalnorfolkshow.rnaa.org.uk
24th GO GO HARES
First there were gorillas, then there were dragons... now there are hares! Over 50 sculptures will pop up around Norwich, forming an artists trail for you to tick off as you go. A further 15 will be out and about across Norfolk, benefiting rural communities, tourist attractions and local towns. It runs until September 8 and will be followed by an auction of the sculptures in aid of Norfolk children’s charity, Break. www.gogohares.co.uk
27th – 28th ROYAL NORFOLK SHOW
The Royal Norfolk Show will bring people together from across the county to celebrate Norfolk’s finest agricultural heritage. www.royalnorfolkshow.rnaa.org.uk
JULY 6th – 8th LORD MAYOR’S CELEBRATIONS
Join in the summertime festivities with the Lord Mayor’s celebrations, including the annual street festival and carnival. www.norwich.gov.uk
15th – 28th KING’S LYNN FESTIVAL
Take a trip to King’s Lynn to celebrate the best in creative talent, including talks, theatre and music. Full programme to be announced. www.kingslynnfestival.org.uk
21st – 29th HOLT FESTIVAL
Join a troupe of musicians, poets, actors, dancers, artists and comedians as they settle in Holt for a week of festival fun. From the church to the theatre and the bookshop to the woods, this will be the place to see some top performers. www.holtfestival.org
25th SANDRINGHAM FLOWER SHOW
Now in its 137th year, this is one of the most prestigious horticultural events of the year, set on the stunning Royal Estate. www.sandringhamflowershow.org.uk
28th BE PROUD
Packed full of diverse celebrations, Norwich Pride will return to the city centre for its 10th anniversary. www.norwichpride.org.uk
28th – 29th CHOCKS AWAY!
The Old Buckenham Airshow will see Sally B, the only flying B-17 in Europe, return to the skies as an array of classic cars, stalls and exhibits keep you occupied on the ground. www.oldbuckenhamairshow.co.uk
AUGUST 10th – 11th BLICKLING PROMS
Blickling Estate will once again open its gates to the sound of music with a weekend of live outdoor performances. On Friday August 10 you’ll be able to party along to some of the biggest tracks as Classic Ibiza returns for its third year, and Saturday August 11 will see the Great British Prom come to the estate, celebrating 100 years of the RAF. nationaltrust.org.uk/blickling-estate
11th – 17th CROMER CARNIVAL
Head to Cromer for the annual carnival week, featuring a lively procession, funfair and fun and games for all the family. www.cromercarnival.co.uk
15th MISS SAIGON
Cameron Mackintosh’s acclaimed musical will come to Norwich Theatre Royal as part of its major UK tour. Set during the Vietnam War, it tells the poignant story of 17 year-old Kim and her love affair with an American GI. Runs until September 15. www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk
SEPTEMBER 8th – 9th
SHANTIES AND SHIPS
Head to Great Yarmouth for its annual maritime festival, a fantastic two-day event which can be found on the historic South Quay. With ships to go aboard, live shanty music and fun theatre exhibitions, there is plenty to see and do. www.great-yarmouth.co.uk/ maritime-festival
10th BATTLE OF BRITAIN WEEK
The City Hall War Memorial in Norwich will honour those who so bravely fought in 1940 with a short ceremony at 11.30am, followed by a parade along St Peter’s Street. www.norwich.gov.uk
13th – 16th HERITAGE OPEN DAYS
A four day celebration of Norfolk’s outstanding heritage will see events popping up throughout the county. With plenty of opportunity to explore places for free, you never know what you might learn. www.theforumnorwich.co.uk
13th – 16th NOIRWICH
The Noirwich Crime Writing Festival returns to the city for its 5th year, featuring talks by superstar crime writers, workshops and the very best in new crime fiction. www.noirwich.co.uk
15th – 16th 1940S WEEKENDER
Experience the north Norfolk coast in war-time at this annual, weekend-long event. Board the steam trains with your ration books and gas masks and experience the sights, sounds and smells of the era. www.nnrailway.co.uk
15th – 16th GET OUT THERE
The weird and wonderful, outrageous and outstanding festival of circus and street arts, Out There, will return for its 11th year. The finest UK performers will mix with community participation, family fun and lots of hands-on things to do in this seaside spectacle in Great Yarmouth. www.seachangearts.org.uk
OCTOBER Dates TBC DRINK UP!
Norwich Beer Festival will return to the city’s historic Halls for another year, featuring a weeklong exploration of your favourite ales and draft beers. www.norwichcamra.org.uk
20th – 28th NORWICH SCIENCE FESTIVAL
Inspirational exhibitions, sensational shows and an abundance of hands-on science activities will take over the city. Suitable for all ages and levels of knowledge. www.theforumnorwich.co.uk
31st GET SPOOKED!
Get into the Halloween spirit across the county. The Spooky City parade will take place in Norwich city centre, starting at Chapelfield Gardens and weaving its ghoulish way to City Hall. www.norwich.gov.uk
NOVEMBER 2nd BIG BOOM
Guy Fawkes celebrations will light up the skies across the county. Norwich Castle will blast things off with Big Boom, starting at 7.30pm. www.norwich.gov.uk
11th LEST WE FORGET
Remembrance events to honour the fallen will take place at venues across the county. City Hall War Memorial in Norwich will host a service of remembrance on the 100th anniversary of the armistice at 10.40am, before veterans and armed forces parade to Norwich Cathedral.
Dates TBC THURSFORD SPECTACULAR
As the biggest and most exciting Christmas show across the country, you’ll want to be early to get tickets for the Thursford Christmas Spectacular. A popular blend of Christmas entertainment, it will be a show to remember with dazzling dancers, beautiful costumes and a popular blend of carols and songs. www.thursford.com
22nd SHINE BRIGHT!
Norwich city centre will host its festive light switch on, featuring a parade with Father Christmas, entertainment in front of City Hall and the switching on of the stunning city centre lights.
DECEMBER Throughout December SEE THE SEALS
Take a wintry walk along the dunes to Horsey Gap and spot some of the hundreds of seals who make it their home each winter. The seals usually have their pups between October and February each year, and there is a special viewing platform from which to spot them at a safe distance.
Dates TBC FESTIVE HOLKHAM
See Holkham Estate in all its festive glory with candlelight tours, choral voices and even a festive food fair. www.holkham.co.uk
12th – 31st HE’S BEHIND YOU!
Aladdin will come to Norwich’s Theatre Royal in its magical family pantomime. Travel to the mystical far east on a magic carpet ride of dazzling costumes, stunning sets and a few mischievous jokes! www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk
Above: New Year’s Day dip on Sheringham beach
Norwich Castle Photo: Norfolk Museums Service
Top: There will be lots to do on the Broads as part of Broads Outdoors Festival
Go Go Hares 2018
Big C will be hosting this year’s Norfolk Show Ball
Above: A remembrance service will take place in front of Norwich’s City Hall
Take a trip to see the seals at Horsey Gap
Ben Langley will star in Aladdin at Norwich Theatre Royal