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After two Covid-impacted years Haverhill Town Council begins planning a £99,000 programme of free public entertainment



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A full programme of free public events for 2022 is now being worked on by Haverhill Town Council – something that has not been possible since 2019 because of the Covid pandemic.

More than 20 events, most of them familiar to the town, plus some new additions, were discussed at the town council’s Leisure and Community Working Party on Tuesday evening.

The proposed schedule carries a budget (based on historic calculations) of just under £99,000 all-in, with the most expensive event being the very popular Hallowe’en Trail, which costs £15,000 to provide and has an estimated attendance of 2,300 people.

A huge crowd enjoying the Great Big Tribute Night 1 in Haverhill's Market Square in 2018
A huge crowd enjoying the Great Big Tribute Night 1 in Haverhill's Market Square in 2018

The working group has a remit to put recommendations to the full council, which it will consider at its next meeting on January 25.

One major new event this year will be held in June to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and will cost £10,000, although what form it will take is yet to be decided.

Cllr Tony Brown said of the occasion: “We should agree to try and pull all the stops out that we can. It’s not just the working group, if anyone else has any ideas just throw them our way.”

The Hallowe'en Trail in Haverhill is always a popular event
The Hallowe'en Trail in Haverhill is always a popular event

Also under discussion was a return of the two tribute music nights held in Market Square in August, which draw crowds of about 2,500 people but have not been staged since 2019.

Suggestions were mooted for the nights to start and finish earlier than previously, partly to make them more ‘family friendly’ but also to ease the burden on the town council events team, which are on site from 9am and sometimes not finished clearing up until 2am.

Also under consideration is switching the fireworks display, which draws a crowd of 6,000, from taking place after the Family Late Night Christmas on the first Friday of December, to the following evening.

A document prepared for the working party meeting said on this: “As it is dark by 4pm the fireworks event could be held at 6pm to allow for a normal shopping day to be completed, but we would need to have an additional road closure for Camps Road, assuming the rec is the best place to hold it.”

Street entertainers amusing passers-by in Haverhill as part of Haverhill Street Festival in 2019. Picture: Richard Marsham
Street entertainers amusing passers-by in Haverhill as part of Haverhill Street Festival in 2019. Picture: Richard Marsham

A proposal put forward by a member of the public to have a St Patrick’s Day parade in March is unlikely to be adopted however, as not enough time is available to finalise all the necessary preparations.