Sometimes, a new event is started that is always going to be a success. The New-Year’s Day firework display on the end of the pier started to celebrate the millennium in 2000 and has been going strong ever since. There are a variety of reasons that it is so successful. Firstly, it is free, secondly the timing is perfect; it is on New-Year’s Day at 5pm, which means there is no competition from other New-Year’s Eve events. Thirdly, the backdrop of the North Sea is stunning, and finally, it’s a top quality display. For a day which is traditionally known for its hangover, the town is buzzing; the Cromer cafes and shops open longer and serve delicious and ingenious fare as thousands of people descend from all around North Norfolk. The pier really is the perfect setting as the sea mirrors the explosions.
Another hugely successful event is Cromer’s Boxing Day Dip. Hundreds, yes hundreds of very brave, or very stupid people charge down into the North Sea on Boxing Day at 11:00am to brave freezing seas for no apparent reason. This is a tradition in seaside towns around the coast, but the tradition in Cromer is to charge in, fully submerge yourself, charge out, then do it all again. A few years ago, this was just a bunch of fool hardy lads who had made a bet on Christmas Eve; now it numbers approximately 600 people, 599 of whom are wearing Santa hats.
The third traditions which is always the talk of the town is the Christmas tree in Cromer Parish Church yard. A Christmas tree has been erected there since time immemorial but for the last three years, it has been a tree with a difference. Bored of the run-or-the-mill Norwegian Spruce, some bright spark had the idea of making a tree out of lobster pots, and it looked great. Then last year it was made out of fishing nets. This year it is a kind of green, advent calendar-pyramid-box-thing. A new compartment is revealed each day by a variety of organisations.
At The Grove, in 2013, we held a carol service complete with brass band and choir on the lawn a couple of days before Christmas in aid of Cromer RNLI and raised over £300. We are doing the same this year. It is free, and will be on 22nd December at 6pm. The obligatory mulled wine and nibbles will of course be in evidence. If you are in the area, please come, we would love to see you.