Motor along to Great Yarmouth seafront this weekend for Wheels Festival
GREAT Yarmouth seafront is all geared up for the Wheels Festival this weekend, with thousands of visiting motorcyclists, thrilling monster truck rides, daredevil motorcycle stunt riders, spectacular vehicle displays and much more besides.
The two-day free-to-attend festival, right along the famous Golden Mile, is organised by Great Yarmouth Borough Council with sponsorship from individual seafront businesses, and the Greater Yarmouth Tourism and Business Improvement Area company. It will take place from 10am to 10pm on Saturday and 10am to 4pm on Sunday.
On Saturday, an estimated 15,000 motorcyclists are set to visit the festival arriving from 10am for On the Throttle's Great Yarmouth Motorcycle Take Over, with bikers routed onto Marine Parade from the south. Thanks to generous sponsorship from seafront businesses, Saturday night will close with a free fireworks display on Central Beach at 10pm. Then on Sunday afternoon, Centre 81 Classic Car and Bike Run will parade along the seafront.
This year, motorcyclists planning to access and park within the festival site are asked to make a voluntary donation of £2 per bike, which will go towards the running of the festival and the East Anglian Air Ambulance. Bikers can make donations on the day, and cars looking to exhibit which have not pre-booked will also be asked to contribute, with donations also welcomed from other festival-goers.
A highlight on both days will be the chance to go for the "ride of your life" in the Red Dragon Monster Truck - and get your photo taken as it crushes cars. Measuring 19ft long and weighing approximately 5 tons, the truck can carry up to ten passengers at once and is suitable for young and old alike, providing you are over 3 feet tall.
The Ken Fox Wall of Death, a motorbike show, will see a team of gravity-defying riders performing spectacular stunts as they circle a specially-built wall - barely six inches from the audience. This is kindly sponsored by the Fish & Grill restaurant on Marine Parade.
Another top attraction getting visitors in a spin will be the On The Edge Motorcycle Stunt Show, which will see two highly experienced stunt riders pull off pulse-raising tricks on their trials bikes, including 15ft jumps up vertical walls.
On Saturday only, Seastar Superbikes will bring the Ducati and Kawasaki Norwich Roadshow, along with a mobile dyno "rolling road" enabling motorcyclists to test the performance of their bikes.
There will also be colourful hotrods from the National Street Rod Association, "bouncing" lowriders, souped-up modified vehicles, big American trucks and truck rides, historic fire engines, local car clubs, electric bikes, trade stalls selling biker gear, a car dealers' village and attractions from film and TV, including K.I.T.T from Knight Rider.
With a serious road safety message, Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service will be undertaking demonstrations of car-cutting equipment, and bringing two fire engines plus a virtual reality unit allowing people to "experience" being cut out of a car. There will also be NHS blood bikes and British Army Superbikes, plus a demo Army helicopter, Norfolk Constabulary patrol cars and police bikes.
The festival is brought to you by Great Yarmouth Borough Council in conjunction with the Greater Yarmouth Tourism and Business Improvement Area, Joyland and the American Diner, On the Throttle, Fish & Grill, the Hippodrome Circus and other seafront businesses. Musical entertainment will be provided by Harbour Radio.
Cllr Graham Plant, chairman of the economic development committee, said: "If you're in East Anglia this weekend, Great Yarmouth Wheels Festival on the seafront is the only place to be. The festival is fantastic for families and vehicle enthusiasts alike, the atmosphere is wonderful and this year's expanded event has so much to see and do.
"One of the region's fastest and fastest-growing festivals, it's great for visitors, great for residents, great for businesses and the economy. I would like to thank the council staff and our sponsors for making this happen, and I encourage everyone to donate on the day as this will go towards the running of the festival and the East Anglian Air Ambulance."
Find out more at www.gywheelsfestival.co.uk
Marine Parade, between the junctions with North Drive at Britannia Pier and the Kings Road roundabout, will be closed to traffic between 7am and 11pm on Saturday and until 7pm on 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 from the south.
The car parks at St Nicholas (limited spaces), North Drive, Euston Road and in the town centre will remain open for the public. However, the car parks at Anchor Gardens, Marina Centre North and South, and Jetty North and South, plus the closed roadway of Marine Parade including the landau lane, will be designated parking zones for the motorcyclists and Wheels exhibitors. Access along the whole length of Marine Parade will be maintained for pedestrians and emergency vehicles.