Come join the Carnival

Preparations are well under way for Norwich’s biggest FREE festival event of the year as applications open for procession entries for the Lord Mayor’s Weekend on Saturday & Sunday 13 & 14 July.

Other details are also announced, with further planning in the pipeline.

This year’s historic Lord Mayor’s Procession, which takes place on the first day (Saturday 13 July) of the weekend-long celebrations, will take to the streets with a brand-new look to the parade route which will start out from Norwich Cathedral, head along St Andrews Street and up Exchange Street to Gentleman’s Walk, before turning towards Chapelfield Gardens where a full programme of family-friendly activities will be in flow.

The call has gone out for as many local groups and organisations as possible to join in the parade as walking or non-motorised float entries. Norwich City Council has removed all participation fees for schools, community groups, charities and businesses taking part, and participants are encouraged to come dressed for carnival fun.

To apply to be in the parade, please see

Participating groups who would like help with their preparations for their entries should contact the council’s Events Team for support with workshops, training or ideas for music, movement, puppets and costumes, plus details of how to engage in the three principle aims of noise, height and interaction. Email to

The overall theme for this year’s huge civic celebration is ‘Norwich Loves You’, drawing on the city’s renown as a place where all feel safe and welcomed, whichever community they come from.

The weekend includes a full celebration in Chapelfield Gardens throughout the day on Saturday, where there will be live music and dance acts, lots of great activities for small children, a carousel and big wheel, a bar area and a food arena with delicious food and drinks treats from across Norfolk, performances from The Garage and Young Norfolk Arts, carnival headdress-making fun, dance workshops, comedy shows, a range of stalls from local organisations and much more.

Plus, there will be a flashmob performance which members of the public can learn in advance of the event or on the day at workshops.

The day’s events will be followed by live music in the evening headlined by the UK Foo Fighters, Britain’s biggest Foo Fighters tribute act; while Voodoo Daddy’s Showroom, the pizza and live music venue in London Street, will be showcasing some of the best bands from Norwich’s thriving music scene.

The weekend’s activities will be wrapped up on the Sunday afternoon from 2.30pm with the ever-popular Great Norwich Duck Race which annually draws huge crowds to Riverside to watch ducks racing from Lady Julian Bridge down the Wensum.  The event is organised by the 1st Norwich Sea Scouts in association with Norwich City Council, and fundraises for participating scout groups and projects, as well as the Mayor’s chosen Civic Charity and East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH). A total of £1000 is offered in prizes to the winning duck owners.

Clare Hubery, leisure and cultural services manager, said: “Our Events Team is pulling out the stops to make this year’s Lord Mayor’s Weekend better and brighter than ever, with a fresh look and direction. This fantastic free event is not only a landmark fixture in our annual civic calendar stretching back to medieval times, but more importantly an opportunity for all our citizens and visitors to the city, and particularly young people, to have an amazing day out for free – a chance to soak up our great community atmosphere and enjoy our heartfelt welcome.”