The Carnival has been a major event within the village since 1967 and in 2016 we celebrated our 50th consecutive Carnival with the biggest and most successful event to date!
2016 was a transformational year for the Carnival and included the opening of a new events ground providing us with an area 3 times bigger than previously available. The increased space enabled the committee to provide a wider and increased range of activities and entertainment.
Following the launch of the new look Carnival, the 2016 visitor numbers rose to between 4,500 and 5,000 – with over 1,000 additional visitors paying the admission fee. The increased interest in the Carnival helped us to raise £6,500 for local charities and good causes.
For the first time, we introduced a Performance Stage, aimed at community groups and organisations, providing them with the opportunity to showcase their work in a 10-minute performance.
A wider variety of traditional and international cuisine was also available in the new Food Village, with locally based traders producing high quality food from locally sourced produce. Re-appearing for the first time in more than 30 years was the real ale bar and in tribute to the Founder of our Carnival Kathleen Gartel, the bar was named “The Gartel Arms.”
2016 also saw our largest-ever street procession – up by 40% to 27 entries including 17 floats.
To celebrate our 50th Carnival, many activities were provided free or at reduced cost thanks to increased sponsorship by local businesses. The 50 4 50 initiative was aimed at small single traders or members of the public who were invited to support their Carnival with a £50 donation. This alone raised £900 and will be an important part of our fundraising in 2017.
The event was opened by TV personality Chris Jarvis from CBeebies, who enjoyed walking in the procession and was happy to be included in hundreds of selfies throughout the afternoon!
The Carnival run was as always a great success with increased adult entries for the 5K and a very impressive 40% increase in the number of children taking part in the one mile event.