Thetford, birthplace of Tom Paine, is planning six months of celebration of the town's radical son in 2009, with the help of a £50,000 grant from the UK Heritage Lottery Fund.
According to their press release: 'The ambitious programme marking the bi-centenary of Paine's death gets under way in June next year with Sir Richard Attenborough as guest of honour during a Reenactment weekend which puts eighteenth century Thetford centre-stage. The energetic world Paine grew up in will be recreated with street entertainers, drilling musketeers, and rabble rousing politicians just some of the characters populating the town centre.
Through the summer, museum displays, workshops, story-telling, concerts, art exhibitions, schools events, tours and lectures and a Community Play will tell the intertwined stories of the Georgian Age, of eighteenth century Thetford and of Tom Paine himself.
The Festival aims to amuse and entertain as well as do justice to the serious issues Paine himself addressed in his forthright 'common-sense' way.'
Lewes is mounting a festival for the bicentennial of Paine's death which will take place from 4th-14th July 2009.(Independence Day in America to the storming of the Bastille in Paris)
The festival will consist of a wide variety of events in celebration of Paine's life and ideas in general, with particular emphasis on the six years that Thomas Paine spent in Lewes prior to his departure to America, during which he wrote his first pamphlet 'The Case of the Officers of Excise.' Much new research, undertaken by the festival's organiser and local historians, will be published for the event.