The latest from Trevor, Chairman of Dawlish Celebrates Carnival
11th June 2017
Chairing the new Committee is almost a full-time job!!! I thought I had retired. In fact, it is something that many don’t realise and that is how much time and effort goes into preparing for carnival week. Logistics, is a mammoth task, undertaken through Geoff and along with organising the Volunteers and Marshals from Helen, including IT, Media and finalisation of the Programme from our resident ‘geek’ Angie, all takes a massive amount of time and effort.
There are so many other things that go on, sponsorship, it’s a daily task for both Judith and Sally, the float for Sophie and behind the scenes there are many others doing work on our behalf.
I spent 3 days this week writing up the Event Safety Plan and Traffic Management, along with applications for various licences. That’s without continuing with booking events and checking we have enough money as we go forward.
That said we couldn’t put on the event without everyone’s support, which was amazing last year. So, I have organised a Supporters Evening at the Dawlish Sports Bar, Sandy Lane, on the 14th June at 7pm, for volunteers, sponsors, event organisers and the Committee to get together.
If you’re interested in being involved this year come along. You will meet our new Royal Family and be at the launch of our Friends of Carnival scheme, along with our new and proposed merchandise.
Don’t forget to tell your friends and family to “Follow the Fun” and visit the web site.
8th June 2017
Well it’s been an exceptionally busy month. The float has had some hiccups in being refurbished and getting it ready for the first Carnival. It has been a worry, and Crocker’s (now Bradfords Building Supplies) has come to our aid and sponsored some materials for us to get the job finished. We just have painting and decoration to deal with now.
The Crowning of the Royal Family went well and you should see form the pics on this website and social media how lovely they all looked. It’s a big commitment for these girls as they go out and represent Dawlish Town at some 18 Carnival events over the summer period.
The Pub Challenge. Well what can I say. Resurrected after some 10 years gap, it was a great. Well attended, every team in fancy dress and a boozy affair. There are some great pics again on our web pages, so go and look at the hilarious fun that ended up at the Royal British Legion for the prize giving.
The programme is coming together. But it costs and unfortunately, we have some sponsors that are not able, for a variety of reasons, to support us in the way they did last year. Whilst this may restrict what we can provide, there are many that continue to provide funds and support in making 2017 a great one.
Welcome to our new website, which has been put together by our resident Geek, ‘Angie’. I just know you will enjoy the look and feel of the site, along with the content. It also provides an opportunity to see what we are doing and for you to get back to us with your ideas and thoughts, even your moans and groans.
The aim is to keep a personal diary about Carnival, keeping it light, frequent and not go off on a ‘Trevor Trip’ into whatever interest me at the time, although that could be fun 😊
So, to start with, there has been some speculation and rumour that we are not doing Carnival this year. Well, hopefully, if you are reading this you will realise that’s not the case. We are all alive and kicking and raring to go.
I will say though having been involved with Carnival many years ago, things have changed. Lots of legislation now to wade through (that’s my job), and it all costs money, lots of money. In fact, 2016 cost in the region of £35,000, not including the Red Arrows. Makes your eyes water doesn’t it. There isn’t much which is free anymore. This year we are even having to pick up the costs for road closures, by paying for each individual road cone! When you are trying to organise something, such as an event for the Town, it just feels sometimes, that everyone is working against you.
Last year we were organising Carnival on behalf of the Town Council. This year is different and although this will be our second year of operating, we are starting to pick up unexpected costs. That said we have a Carnival to organise and everyone is totally committed to making it a wonderful week long event.
The principles of last year remain true today, to keep Carnival family friendly, along with the return to a rope arena which all helped, it was really nice to see families sat around the arena everyday watching what was going on. We will however, always try to do things differently. The programme and format of events last year, along with the return of the Red Arrows was different to previous years. This year I would like us to build the Parade Night. Unfortunately, we don’t have the Red Arrows and as spectacular as they are, they cost us around £12,500. That’s a lot of money, half of which was supported by Dawlish Air Show Committee, for a 20 minute display. So, we have decided to put some of the money into building the Parade and put on another event on the lawn afterwards.
The theme this year will be around Masquerade, with a Cirque du Soliel, twist. It would be great if we could get one of the Cirque du Soliel acts, but hey ho, that would be more than the Reds! Now don’t go running around the Town quoting me. The magic word here is ‘around’, the spirit of what they do is something that I would like to build into the Parade. Hence we are booking, magicians, stilt walkers and jugglers. With a spectacular finale, back in the arena afterwards.
It might seem odd that I have started the first Blog of with the Parade which is one of our last events. This is because, this is the hardest part to organise, as we have to find the sponsorship and funds to support these events. At the moment we have Judith, Sally and Ali, our Sponsorship team, out around the Town seeking sponsorship support. Pitch and help where you can.
Keep an eye out for what we are doing through the web site, flyers and posters around the town over the next few months and I will be back soon to provide another update.
Over recent months some people have been asking whether we would be organising carnival again this year.
Through this column, I would like to announce that Dawlish Celebrates Carnival is now well and truly established as a committee and is busily preparing for carnival week – August 12 to 19, something we are all looking forward to.
However, having set the wheels in motion, we are working hard to fund the week.
Most of you will be aware that carnival is a costly business these days. There are very few events that are free and alongside this, costs associated with renting a marquee, PA systems, first aid, security, insurance, etc make for an expensive week. The legal obligations have also increased substantially over the years, along with safety.
Why do I raise these points? Well, while we have a committed group of people willing to make our carnival happen, and are supported by excellent volunteers, it’s a yearlong process, which requires support from everyone in the town to make it all happen.
Which brings me to where we are now. As a new committee, we have had to register with Companies House, establish a bank account and start fundraising.
We have had an excellent start with the Christmas market, charities bingo and a barn dance at Ashcombe Village Hall.
There are more fundraising events planned over the coming months, including ‘pig racing’ organised by the Dawlish Rotary Club on April 28 at the Manor House and a pub challenge around Dawlish on April 29.
We have a brand-new website being developed which will be available shortly. We already have Facebook and Twitter accounts and our own YouTube channel where you can view video clips from Dawlish Celebrates Carnival 2016.
Our next major piece of work is the float. We have obtained one which has had to be completely stripped down back to the metal frame, checked for roadworthiness and then rebuilt, in preparation for the crowning of the carnival queen in May.
The selection for royalty was advertised in the Gazette last week as we not only need a royal party for our parade and events, but to represent us at other carnivals across south and east Devon. It’s a fabulous opportunity for our local youngsters to become involved in something special and support our town.
The selection will be held at the Shaftesbury Theatre on the Saturday, March 11. Doors open 6.30pm.
There will be entertainment throughout the evening. You can obtain application forms from
dawlishcelebratescarnival.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org
As for carnival week, the programme is already being worked on and the parade will be bigger and better than last year with a finale and light show on The Lawn afterwards. Albeit very early days.
Dawlish is a great town with a great supportive community. I hope you will all be involved again this year and allow us to keep carnival traditional, family-friendly and funpacked for everyone.