A group of merry morris dancers, a big red bus and a whole load of good cheer was the order of the day at the launch of this year’s City of Ale festival in Norwich.

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Beer writers, brewers, publicans and local dignitaries all joined together last night outside the City Hall, near the market place, to celebrate the beginning of the 10-day event.

Now in its fourth year, 44 pubs are taking part and will culminate with 200 beers being offered from 39 local breweries and 200 events being held across the city.

Speaking at the launch event, co-chair Dawn Leeder said: “I think a launch really gets things going and this year it is something which has got everyone involved.”

As well as enjoying a performance by dancers Golden Star Morris, based in Norwich, the group were also treated to a tour of historic Norwich followed by an evening of ale tasting and speeches at King Street museum, Dragon Hall.

Co-chair Phil Cutter added: “It is nice to see all of the hard work and the people involved come together.

“It’s great to celebrate what we have in Norfolk and Norwich and it’s nice to encapsulate this in one evening.

“This is the fourth year it’s been going and it’s going from strength to strength.

“We are getting loads of support from the business community too.”

• What do you think of this year’s festival? Write to the Letters Editor, with full details of your name and address, at Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE.

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