Thousands expected on seafront as Great Yarmouth 'gears up' for GY Wheels Festival
GREAT Yarmouth is "gearing up" for the fourth GY Wheels Festival, which will see scores of special vehicles - plus up to 15,000 visiting motorcyclists - create a spectacle along the Golden Mile.
The free festival, taking place on Saturday, July 7 and Sunday, July 8, from 10am on both days, is organised by Great Yarmouth Borough Council, and is set to delight families and enthusiasts with prestige, classic and bespoke vehicles.
A highlight will be on the Saturday, when up to 15,000 motorcyclists are expected to visit for the festival, arriving between 10am and noon. The borough council has worked closely with the organisers of this authorised visit, and Norfolk County Council, to put together a traffic management plan (details below) to reduce the impact on other road users.
The expanded festival will again bring together special cars, commercial vehicles and historic aircraft engines, with the addition of a car dealers' village showcasing new-registration models, plus new attractions for motorcyclists including a motorcycle trade area selling biker clothing and accessories on the Saturday.
One of the motorcycle highlights will be Two Brothers Racing Stunt Team, a dynamic tro of trick riders, made up of Mark Van Driel aka "Vandal" , Paul Todd aka "Toddy "and Katrina Van Driel aka "Trina". Their choreographed show will include street bike freestyle tricks and tandem tricks, culminating with awesome adrenaline-filled drift bikes.
Vandal has been the UK street bike freestyle champion three times and holds a Guinness World Record, while Toddy was the 2016 UK champion. Both riders have been in blockbuster films as stunt doubles and in TV shows.
In addition, British Mini Bikes will bring along a range of their machines, ranging from juniors in the Bambino class to seniors on fully tricked-out race bikes, including pit bikes and from the Honda CRF 150 and Open 2 Stroke class.
The GY Wheels Festival is sponsored by Great Yarmouth Borough Council, the Greater Yarmouth Tourism and Business Improvement Area (GYTABIA) and Joyland and the American Diner.
Cllr Barry Coleman, chairman of the economic development committee, said: "Wheels has grown each year and is now a major highlight in our varied events calendar, which boosts visitor numbers and spend, and promotes our borough as a vibrant place to live, work and visit.
"This free festival is not just for the enthusiasts - it's for everyone of all ages - and it always has a lovely family-friendly atmosphere. Last year's visit of the motorcyclists was a great spectacle for everyone and we're pleased to welcome them back to an expanded festival with further attractions for bike-lovers."
Gareth Brown, chairman of the Great Yarmouth Tourism and Business Improvement Area, said: "The GY Wheels Festival brings a real buzz to the Golden Mile and the many thousands of people it attracts have a real impact on the local economy.
"This year's festival looks like being bigger than ever and GYTABIA is delighted to be able to support it. Events like this are good for the town and great for business."
Michael Cole, of Joyland and the American Diner, said: "Joyland and the American Diner are once again delighted to be one of the main sponsors of Wheels. We feel it is vital to hold major free events for our visitors to help boost trade out of season. We are very excited about this year's show as there are even more attractions and exhibits."
Motorcycle Takeover (Saturday, July 7) and Centre 81 Classic Car Rally (Sunday, July 8)
On the Saturday, up to 15,000 motorcyclists will visit the seafront as part of the festival, arriving between 10am and noon. Then on Sunday, the Centre 81 Classic Car Rally will arrive on the seafront. The borough council has worked closely with the organisers of these authorised visits, and Norfolk County Council, to put together a plan to ensure it happens in a co-ordinated way which reduces the impact on other road users, while still capturing the huge economic benefits that thousands of extra visitors bring.
Central Marine Parade, between the junctions with St Peter's Road and North Drive, will be closed to traffic between 7am and 10pm on the Saturday and until 7pm on the Sunday, with a clear signed diversion in place. There will be no direct vehicular access to Marine Parade from Lancaster Road, York Road, Trafalgar Road, Trafalgar Square and Britannia Road. The taxi and coach stops along North Drive will not be affected. Motorcyclists will be routed onto Marine Parade via St Peter's Road and roads to the south.
The car parks at Anchor Gardens, Marina Centre North and South, and Jetty North, plus the closed roadway of central Marine Parade including the landau lane, will be designated parking zones for the motorcyclists and Wheels exhibitors, who will be guided by traffic marshals. Access along the whole length of Marine Parade will be maintained for pedestrians and emergency vehicles.