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Beer drinkers get ready to raise a glass at market town’s annual festival

Revellers at Fakenham's Gin and Beerfest 2017: Pictures: Glen Mallett

Revellers at Fakenham's Gin and Beerfest 2017: Pictures: Glen Mallett

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Plans for a popular market town beer festival are firmly underway with a new organiser at its helm.

Revellers at Fakenham's Gin and Beerfest 2017: Pictures: Glen Mallett Revellers at Fakenham's Gin and Beerfest 2017: Pictures: Glen Mallett

Now in its seventh year, the Fakenham Gin and Beerfest is being organised by Mark Banham, and it promises to be a highlight of the town’s calendar.

Mr Banham said: “This is my first year taking the reigns.

“I’ve always helped a bit and I found out in January I would be looking after it.

“I’m very excited and I’m looking forward to putting the event on.”

Previously organised by husband and wife team Glen and Lisa Mallett, the couple decided last month to hand over the running to someone else.

Although the festival has dropped from three days to two, Mr Banham said it would still be a weekend to remember.

As well as local beers, including 20 real ales and a selection of ciders, a team from Black Shuck cocktail bar will also be on hand to provide gin and cocktails.

“They do some great things and they are a great addition to have with us.”

There will also be live music and the current line-up for Friday night includes the Nelson Shantymen and the Rhythm Travellers. Saturday will see performances by the popular Fakenham Ukes, Joe and Mary, Anto Mora, Wolfswood, Picaroon, and Hedway.

There will also be food on offer and a raffle.

“There is something for everyone,” Mr Banham added.

“It’s a highlight of the Fakenham calender and it’s nice to have something on out of season.

“Last year we raised just over £500. I’d like to try and raise a bit more than that this time. Hopefully we can.”

Money raised will go towards the home of the event, Fakenham Community Centre.

The festival’s main sponsor for this year is the Crisp Maltings Group from Great Ryburgh.

Businesses can also sponsor a barrel.

Although entry is free, beer drinkers will be able to buy a starter kit for £12, which includes a souvenir glass and tokens for three pints (or six half pints).

The festival runs over two days on March 23 and 24.

For all the latest updates, or to find out about sponsoring a barrel, visit the Facebook page by searching for Fakenham Gin & Beerfest or follow @FakGinBeerfest on Twitter.

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