AFTER a year away, St Neots Carnival is making a comeback and this year the new organisers promise it will be bigger and better than ever. The newly formed St Neots Carnival Club, led by current Carnival Queen Nicola Henderson and her deputy Cassy Long
AFTER a year away, St Neots Carnival is making a comeback and this year the new organisers promise it will be bigger and better than ever.
The newly formed St Neots Carnival Club, led by current Carnival Queen Nicola Henderson and her deputy Cassy Long are reviving the town's carnival. Plans are afoot for the tradition to take place over the August bank holiday.
The 61st carnival will include a parade of floats through the town centre, a new court and an illuminated boat procession.
Miss Henderson said the club would welcome support from individuals, groups and businesses. She said: "After missing the community vibe last year, we decided to form a committee. I just couldn't sit back and let the carnival disappear. My intention is not just to bring it back for 2009 but for good."
Cassy Long said: "I'm obsessed with carnival and I'm willing to give-up all my spare time to make sure the town has one."
The festival was scrapped last year for the first time in 60 years due to lack of support and donations. Jean Searle, chairman of the former carnival committee stepped down in 2008 after just six people turned up to the club's AGM.
Mrs Searle said that only £2,400 had been collected in donations during the carnival procession in 2007 but the festival cost £8,000 to stage.
This year, organisers have set up a page dedicated to the carnival on social networking site, Facebook.
St Neots town councillor Derek Giles said: "It will be a great boost for the town if the carnival can take place again I would urge anyone who can help in any way to contact the organisers straight away."
Fellow town councillor Barry Chapman said: "Residents felt short changed last year.. Our town centre manager, who organised the Riverside Festival event last year, did an excellent job but the carnival should be about public involvement and participation. I wish the organisers every success."
The carnival club is looking for members of the public to help with fundraising, marshalling of the event and programme selling.
Anyone interested in helping is invited to attend a public meeting on Sunday, March 29 at 7pm at the Pagoda Club in Market Square (above the Hong Kong restaurant), St Neots.
The club has also launched a competition for members of the public to design a logo with the words St Neots Carnival for this year's carnival. The winning entry will be included on promotional material. Entry is 50p and forms can be downloaded from www.stneotscarnival.co.uk
Applications are also being invited through the club's website for this year's carnival court.
nTown centre manager, Tom McCormick, is in the process of arranging this year's Riverside Festival over the August bank holiday. Suggestions include a Last Choir Standing style singing competition, dragon boat racing, giant inflatable games and a medieval day. The possible cost of the event could be over £21,000.
INFORMATION: See www.stneotscarnival.co.uk or to offer sponsorship to the town's festival phone Tom McCormick on 01480 388911. Do you support the return of the town's carnival? E-mail your views to: firstname.lastname@example.org or write to: Carnival comeback, The Hunts Post, 30 High Street, Huntingdon, Cambs, PE29 3TB.