Despite having lived in Norwich for nearly six years, I had never properly explored the events for this traditional day of festivities. So this year, I decided I wanted to wander around and soak up the atmosphere of various free events, numerous food stalls and other random goings-on.
The city was decked out with bunting, and prominent buildings were adorned with bizarre decorations. Atop the Guildhall sat an enormous, grumpy-looking octopus who stared down at gawping visitors. On County Hall, a massive pair of plump red lips smiled down on the festivities.
In front of the Forum, a large stage was set up that was showing live music and some dance acts. As we strolled past, a group of school children were dancing energetically to Pharell’s ‘Happy’ in front of a large crowd. Many school children from Norwich and the surrounding area get involved in the celebrations and perform in dances or short plays. They also play a key part in the decoration of floats for the highlight of the day – the Lord Mayor’s Parade.
Next, we wandered around the world food stalls, which were serving up a scrummy selection of Chinese dishes, Indian street food and gigantic pans of paella. Pity I had already scoffed lunch!
We then bumped into a performance that appeared to be some kind of bull fight with school children waving white cloths. I’m afraid I had no idea what was going on, but I was impressed by the stamina of the two people dressed up.
A large fairground is another classic feature of the Lord Mayor’s celebrations. This is held in Chapelfield gardens and hosts all of the stands and rides you would expect. I haven’t been to a fairground in an age, and I was a little shocked by the prices. If I had the guts, I would have joined the kiddies on the carousel ride, but I felt I was perhaps now too old for this (sad face).
We ended up at the Bo Nanafana stage, which was showing a number of cabaret acts throughout the day. We saw a great show called ‘Two for tea’, which combined slapstick with some unexpectedly impressive acrobatic moves. We also managed to catch a little of a Charlie Chaplin act, which was also very entertaining.
To finish the day, we purchased the necessary icecream and then snuck past this very scary-looking being!
Do you have any annual celebrations in your area? I’d love to hear about them!