A bit of Europe comes to Aldeburgh

EUROPEANS will get a taste of British life and culture next week as they pay a visit to one of Suffolk's best-loved seaside towns.Mayors and guests from all over Europe will be gathering in Aldeburgh next week , as it plays host to visitors from 11 different countries.

EUROPEANS will get a taste of British life and culture next week as they pay a visit to one of Suffolk's best-loved seaside towns.

Mayors and guests from all over Europe will be gathering in Aldeburgh next week , as it plays host to visitors from 11 different countries.

The town's year as Cultural Village of Europe reaches its high point as more than 330 guests arrive on Thursday, September 18, and Friday, September 19, for a weekend of celebrations in the town.

Volunteer host families from Aldeburgh and surrounding towns and villages will be putting up the visitors during their stay.


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One of the organisers, Maggy Wilson, said: "I think everybody is getting very excited about it, particularly the people who are hosting them. Everybody is working very hard, and, I hope, looking forward to it."

As well being an important event for the town, it was also good for the local economy, and gave the European visitors a chance to see what was available for them to do and see in the area, she said.

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Visitors will come from Austria, Spain, Hungary, Estonia, France, Denmark, Germany, the Czech Republic, Italy, The Netherlands and Greece for the packed weekend programme of events.

On Saturday, there will be six hours of non-stop performances on stage at Snape Maltings Concert Hall from 10am to 1pm and 2.30pm to 5.30pm. All 12 of the participating countries will be entertaining guests and locals at the free event. Anyone is welcome to come along as they perform music, dance and other cultural entertainment from their respective countries.

The Germans will be demonstrating chess moves with a group of 18 living chessmen, the Italians will be performing traditional Tuscan dances accompanied by an accordion, and a group of 18 Estonian schoolchildren will perform traditional folk dances.

On Sunday, there is another chance to get to meet the European visitors during an al fresco lunch and entertainment at the Moot Green. Residents from some of the countries will have stalls selling local produce from food and wine to craftware.

Anyone is welcome to come along, and there is a small charge for lunch.

The day kicks off at 11am when the mayors and other senior members of the villages assemble at the Jubilee Hall for coffee. There will be an opening by chairman Alan Britten, and a speech by local MP John Gummer. Bert Kisjes, President of the Cultural Village of Europe Project will also address the audience, as will Mayor of Aldeburgh Felicity Bromage. Lunch and entertainment starts on the Moot Green from 12 noon.

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