Two-week festival gets off to a great start

Bungay Community Choir entertain at the opening of the Bungay Festival.

Bungay Community Choir entertain at the opening of the Bungay Festival. - Credit: Archant

Singing from the Bungay Community Choir and the raising of the Bigod Flag on the castle signalled the start of the annual two-week Bungay Festival on Saturday.

The singing was an innovation at the opening ceremony this year. The choir sang five songs, under leader Paul Amer, to entertain the crowd before the flag was hoisted by the Town Reeve Michael Davies and the Town Mayor Sylvia Knights.

Mr Davies thanked festival chairman Keith Parker and his committee for putting the festival programme together, and John Pestell, who has organised the annual antiques street market which took place the following day.

But he also said Bungay urgently needed people prepared to come forward to help with the organisation of the festival, which has now been running for 26 years.

Town Crier Martin Payne was there to make the announcements for the event, and as the flag reached the top of the mast the bells of St Mary’s Church rang out to spread the news throughout the town that the 2014 festival was under way.

Following the ceremony the mayor and town reeve and their entourages visited the Bungay District Market which had set up at the Butter Cross, before returning to the Castle Meadow where the annual Kids Fun Day, organised by Bungay Rotary Club, got under way at noon.

It included traditional children’s races and novelty events, and displays by Bungay Judo Club and young dancers form the Academy of Dance.

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There was a variety of stalls, sideshows and games, a barbecue, and a stand promoting the work of the River Waveney Trust, as the sun shone warmly throughout the day.

The Town Reeve and Town Mayor both attended the Norwich Mozart Concert at St Mary’s Church in the evening.