The city of Norwich is preparing itself for the final promotion party of 2009/10 tomorrow, with an open-top bus parade and civic reception to celebrate winning the League One title by a whopping nine points .
The bus will begin its journey from the St Stephens roundabout at 6pm and parade along St Stephens Street, Red Lion Street and Castle Meadow.
And even though the numbers of 2004’s ‘Going Up’ party are not expected to be replicated, the club are urging supporters to get there early and secure a good view.
The reception will then be held at Norwich Castle at 7pm and the event promises to put a big dollop of icing on a fantastic promotion cake.
“People in Norwich have proved time and again that they know how to throw a party and this will be a fantastic celebration of the club’s immediate return to the Championship.
“We want everyone to come out and celebrate and to see the players and the trophy being paraded,” said events co-ordinator for Norwich City Council, Helen Selleck.
Councillor Steve Morphew, leader of Norwich City Council added: “It is absolutely fantastic that the club to have won promotion back to the Championship – not only for the club and its supporters but for the whole city.
“We have invited the football club to attend a civic reception to mark that wonderful achievement and to give the fans and other people in the city who are proud of the team the chance to come out and celebrate.
“Things like this make the whole city feel proud and I would urge as many people as possible to come along and enjoy the party.”
There has been some debate as to whether a repeat of the 2004 parade and civic reception would be appropriate, given that it was ‘only’ a third tier triumph, and at the time of writing, a Pink’Un poll suggests 56% of supporters will not be attending.
But according to majority shareholder Delia Smith, the fans have spoken, and City have responded by putting on another big party to celebrate the Canaries’ romp to the title.
“We’ve monitored what people have been saying about having a celebration over the last few weeks and the overwhelming majority were keen to celebrate this season’s title success with the players.
“I think that’s wonderful and I’m sure there will be a fantastic atmosphere in the city on Thursday. Paul Lambert has said all along that winning the title was all about the players and the fans being in harmony and what better way to recognise that than the civic celebrations planned.
“We’d like to say a massive thank you to Norwich City Council for inviting us to enjoy another special event with the people of Norwich and Norfolk – and of course to Aviva for their invaluable help in making it all possible.”
Buses are being re-routed on the evening and special promotional tickets are available. Park and ride opening hours will also be extended.
For more details, please go to: http://www.firstgroup.com/ukbus/easterncounties/easterncounties/fare_changes/?item=1111&show=1
For all the views and reaction from the event, visit MFW on Friday after what should be another memorable evening in the club’s recent history.