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Surprise, surprise it's Alderney Week

Posted Wed 15th July 2009 at 13:23

Surprises will be the feature of this year's Alderney Week.

Organiser Ronnie Cairnduff says a number of special events during the August 1-9 festival will include unexpected twists.

Speaking just a fortnight before the annual fun-packed week kicks off, Ronnie said everything is falling into place.

"I'm pleased to say it's all coming along very well. There's a huge amount of work still to be done but we're getting into top gear. We'll be flying for the next couple of weeks."

Ronnie, who has acted as chief organiser for the past five years, said revellers should expect all the usual events, such as Cavalcade Day, the sandcastle competition, torchlight procession and man-powered flight.

"All the usual big events will take place. The man-powered flight will be a bit later this year because we're having a festival day at the inner harbour. There'll be diving for treasure, a greasy pole and duck race before the man-powered flight.

"And I'm trying to repeat a little exercise we did several years ago with the lifeboat. Those people that saw it might reflect on that and will be in for a big surprise."

Revellers should also expect a surprise during Ronnie's favourite Alderney Week event.

"As always, Gala Night is going to be a spectacle. The whole point of Gala Night is that it has to be spectacular and I think this year people are going to be in for a huge surprise. This year's theme of Around the World in Eight Days indicates there must be big balloons - and I'll go no further than that."

This year's festival will be the 61st and follows the diamond anniversary celebrations of 2008.

Ronnie said: "As it was the 60th we really went over the top with everything last year. We've scaled it down a little bit - not much - but there's still a packed programme."

As so much time, effort and money were spent last year, organisers recently appealed for businesses and members of the public to donate funds for 2009.

Ronnie said: "Thankfully a lot of people have come along and supported us and we thank them for that. It's a big event and the cost just gets bigger every year. However, we'll be OK and we'll be putting the buckets around and hoping people give generously."

A money-hungry Chinese fortune dragon, which could measure more than 100ft, should help boost the coffers.

"We're hoping to create the longest Chinese fortune dragon that has ever appeared in Alderney," said Ronnie. "The idea of the dragon is that he's hungry for money, so the more money you give him, the more fortune you will receive."

Ronnie has taken part in Alderney Week for 31 years and has no plans to give up being involved in the festival he loves so much.

"If anyone comes up to me and says they can do it better I'll pass on the baton and say here you go. But my feeling is that I get so much from it and enjoy it very much. The day I don't enjoy it is the day I'll give it up.

"Alderney Week's about what memories people have. Families go back many years and what they get out of it is absolutely enormous. It's why we give so many medals out. The youngsters will remember that for all of their lives and long may it continue.

Ronnie went on to say volunteers are still required for Cavalcade Day, which will take place on August 3. Anyone interested in taking part should call Ilona Soane-Sands on 823448.

Visit www.alderneyweek.net for further information on this year's event.

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