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Hopes high for big turnout at new Wolverhampton and Black Country Show

Up to 10,000 extra people are expected to descend on this year's renamed City Show, organisers have predicted.

Hopes high for big turnout at new Wolverhampton and Black Country Show

The popular annual event - which has been relaunched as the Wolverhampton and Black Country Show - will this year feature a BBC First World War centenary event alongside it.

The show's new name coincides with Black Country Day and bosses are delighted to have joined forces with the BBC for the West Park event.

TV stars including Eastenders' Larry Lamb will attend the event as part of the World War One at Home tour, which is only visiting eight towns and cities in the UK.

The BBC aspect will include a 'briefing room' for interviews, as well as an outdoor parade ground and several First World War-based activities.

People can also learn about how medicine and communications were transformed during the war, including demonstrations of how carrier pigeons were an invaluable resource for sending messages.

The family-friendly events will include hands-on activities, performances and interactive sessions designed to appeal to everyone from eight to 80.

Meanwhile organisers of the Wolverhampton and Black Country Show, which has marginally increased its prices to £3 for adults and £2 for children, are hoping for a bumper turnout.

The news has come as a welcome boost to the city, which has seen cuts to other outdoor events such as Wolvestock, which was cancelled earlier this year.

And the event itself took a big hit in numbers last year when 22,000 turned up, compared to the 50,000 visitors it had attracted when it was a free event.

Mark Blackstock, Wolverhampton Civic Halls manager, said it was a 'real coup' to be hosting the prestigious BBC event.

"We expect, subject to good weather, that we could get up to 32,000 people," he said.

"It's should be a fantastic weekend and it's a big boost to have the BBC alongside us this year.

"We know the City Show has been a very attractive event over the years.

"Last year 25 per cent of people who attended came from outside the Black Country and we want to build on that.

"Changing the name is part of that process, to bring it to an even wider audience."

All stalls for this year's show have already been sold, which hasn't been the case in recent years.

And organisers are attempting to modernise the show with more music, while a mini beer festival with Banks's selling 16 beers should boost numbers yet further.

The Signal 107 Sound Stage will be in a separate field with a big screen, while the usual favourites like monster trucks will also return.

Council leader, Councillor Roger Lawrence, said of the show: "It's one of many excellent outdoor events that we have and I'm looking forward to it.

"Hopefully it will kickstart the event for future years and we'll get a great turnout."

The Wolverhampton and Black Country Show and BBC World War One at Home tour both take place in West Park on July 12 and 13.

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