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Needham Market Raft Race calls for raft builders to take part in event on June 5 as part of Jubilee



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The popular Needham Market Raft Race is back in June as part of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

In its 20th year and after an enforced two-year break due to the coronavirus pandemic, the fun event is being held on Sunday, June 5, at Needham Market Lakes.

Its first raft race was in 2002 and was part of the town’s celebrations for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, so it seems fitting to return as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, said the Needham Market Raft Race Committee.

Needham Market Raft Race is taking place on June 5 as part of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee Picture: Mecha Morton
Needham Market Raft Race is taking place on June 5 as part of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee Picture: Mecha Morton

Anyone who fancies themselves as raft builders are encouraged to get in touch and book their places, with teams welcome from Needham and further afield.

Every year there is a theme for teams to adopt in order to decorate their rafts and/or for competitors to come in fancy dress.

Previous years has seen cartoon characters, world cup football and heroes and villains to name but a few, but this year the theme is ‘Let’s Celebrate!’

Teams can opt to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee or something else of their choosing, and there is a competition for the best-dressed raft.

The last Needham Market Raft Race in 2019 Picture: Mecha Morton
The last Needham Market Raft Race in 2019 Picture: Mecha Morton

The committee said: "The aim of the afternoon is to have fun – fun for our competitors as they strive for prizes and coveted first place; fun for spectators watching the antics of our rafters and enjoying Needham Lake and the local stalls on offer."

The afternoon’s activities kick off from 12 noon with the arrival of the rafts, which will be displayed in readiness for judging at 1.30pm.

Races will begin at 2pm with as many heats as needed to whittle down to the grand finale.

There is fierce competition for the best-dressed raft Picture: Mecha Morton
There is fierce competition for the best-dressed raft Picture: Mecha Morton

There is a small entry fee for competitors (£20 per raft). Sponsors help meet the costs of the event.

Over the years the committee has been able to make donations, totalling over £6,000, to local organisations and charities.

Refreshment stalls will be available.

Spectators can watch the antics of the rafters and enjoy Needham Lake and the local stalls on offer Picture: Mecha Morton
Spectators can watch the antics of the rafters and enjoy Needham Lake and the local stalls on offer Picture: Mecha Morton

To find out further details or book your places, please visit: https://needhamraftraceblog.wordpress.com/