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Thousands expected at festival this weekend

Fenland families are in for some roaring good fun this weekend as animals take centre stage at the Chatteris Midsummer Festival.

Chatteris Midsummer Festival camel

Thousands of people are expected to turn out at the Animals on Parade-themed extravaganza, which comes to life this Saturday and Sunday, June 24 and 25.

For one day only, on the Saturday, there will be camels and ponies starring in the colourful walking parade, and an Exotic Animals Encounter giving visitors a chance to get up close with animals such as meerkats, snakes, lizards and spiders and possibly even skunks.

Other attractions throughout the popular event include aircraft fly-pasts, live music and a host of fun and games for all ages.

Groups and individuals are being urged to dress up on the animal theme, and take part in the parade which departs from Church Lane car park at 11am. It will be led by camels, with ponies bringing up the rear!

Once the parade arrives at Furrowfields Recreation Ground, there will be plenty of attractions including a Spitfire flypast, inflatables fun, fun fair rides, stalls, refreshments and performances in the arena from Manea Silver Band, a Samba band, majorette troupes, Chatteris Army Cadets, and a theatrical group.

Talented local singers and musicians will also perform at an Acoustics Session in the marquee from 3pm to 7pm and afterwards there will be Party in the Park with bands including Holly and the Boatmen and Tripolium.

Sunday's festivities will include a Lancaster flypast, a fun dog show and dog agility demonstrations, Festival Wipeout and Tug of War competitions, music from Chatteris Town Band, zorbing for children and cream teas served in the marquee.

The marquee will also be the venue for the launch of the Chatteris in Myth and Memory Project on Thursday, June 22, and a variety show, with entertainment by Laura and Perry Dennis and Zelda Finch, on Friday, June 23, in the evening.

Chatteris Midsummer Festival is one of four 'Four Seasons' events supported by Fenland District Council and a committee of volunteers, in partnership with Chatteris Town Council and many other organisations and individuals in the town.

Town council clerk Joanna Melton said: "Last year's festival 'The Rio Olympics Come to Chatteris' was a great success with thousands of people turning out to support it.

"This year we are swapping sports for animals and we are confident that once again there will be plenty to keep everyone happy. In addition to the usual popular attractions such as the parade, Party in the Park and competitions there will be unusual animals on show for all to admire."

For more information on the festival, or to help over the weekend, contact Chatteris Town Council clerk Joanna Melton on 01354 695166, email: chatteriscouncil@btconnect.com or visit the festival website at: www.chatterismidsummerfestival.co.uk

Article added: June 20, 2017