September 18 2014 Latest news:
Saturday, April 5, 2014
Organisers of beach party event in the heart of a Suffolk market town are hoping a road race will increase visitor numbers.
Last year’s beach party on Stowmarket’s Recreation Ground was heralded as a success after almost 2,000 people attended.
Now the town council, which organises the event, has heard from the Stowmarket Striders athletics club which wants to include a one-mile race to widen the attraction of the party.
The Striders’ chairman Stuart Green and committee member Tim Larke attended Wednesday evening’s annual town meeting to inform councillors of their plans.
Mr Larke said: “I want to get people here and spending money to showcase the town. It would be an exciting thing as the mile would be open to anyone to take part.
“I can honestly say it’s the sort of event that will encourage people to take up sport and get people into the town.”
David Marsh, the council’s events and entertainment manager, said the beach party, which is free to enter, would run on Saturday, September 6 at the Recreation Ground. It will start at 2pm with a screening of Grease to begin at 8pm. This year it will support the Stowmarket charity Trust Maria.
David Whybrow, a councillor for Stowmarket South, said it was “fantastic” that an “enthusiastic” group wanted to come forward to enhance the event.
Mr Green said there was “huge support” within the club to put on the event. Mr Marsh said there would need to be rolling road closures, but not diversions, of about 10 minutes to allow the runners a clear path to the finish line. The meeting heard that the sports club has more than 320 members and claims to be the biggest rural club in Suffolk.