Bright hopes for town festival

ORGANISERS of this year's Colchester Festival are aiming to take the event firmly up a notch in 2004, with a three-week entertainment experience.Their sights are firmly set on an extravaganza to fill the summer months, which would create Colchester as the main tourist destination of the Eastern region.

ORGANISERS of this year's Colchester Festival are aiming to take the event firmly up a notch in 2004, with a three-week entertainment experience.

Their sights are firmly set on an extravaganza to fill the summer months, which would create Colchester as the main tourist destination of the Eastern region.

Last year's shorter three-day festival was a huge success and organisers are hoping to build on this for the fifth year of the festival and in future years.

The team of volunteers are hoping to include many of the winning features of last year's festival, including the great cloth fair in the Castle Park, the town centre's samba ramble and the enchanting historical drama of the Colchester promenade play.


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For 2004, organisers aim to incorporate a new day of world music and dance, throughout the streets of Colchester, together with special evening performances of jazz, folk and classical music.

If things go according to plan, a huge circus-style tent will also house a unique “son-et-lumiere” experience - a pageant of different entertainers, bringing Colchester's history to life in artistic form.

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It is hoped that a traditional Victorian fair will bring an old-fashioned

helter-skelter, ghost-train and coconut shies to summer crowds in the town.

Dorian Kelly, projects director, said: “Last year was an unqualified success. We managed a huge festival on a low budget within timescale and it's all completely free.

“We have a very sound base on which to step forward and we are looking to expand to become the largest, most spectacular festival in the region,” he added.

Mr Kelly, 55, was sure that, provided the team could bring together the right people, with the right mix of talent, skills and enthusiasm, this year's festival should be another triumph for the town, and attract ever increasing numbers of visitors.

Eventually, he hoped that events such as the cricket week, the big history fairs on High Woods and the summer's children's events would all be encompassed under the festival umbrella.

“We have an excellent theatre and with our new visual arts facility, the future of the town is looking very bright indeed,” he added.

Anyone wishing to help should ring 01206 798076 and further details are at www.colchesterfestival.org

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