The latest from Trevor, Chairman of Dawlish Celebrates Carnival
Wednesday 5th September 2018
‘It’s a Wrap’, I think that’s what is said at the end of a show or film. Carnival is over for another year and I sincerely hope you enjoyed it across all seven days, despite the early unsettled weather for the beach day and official opening on Sunday.
Whilst, as ever it was hard work for all our committee, ‘carnival crew’ and volunteers we really did enjoy it. It was so gratifying to see familiar faces and some new ones as well and those who have returned after some time away, to enjoy what the week offered. The Tourist Information Centre was receiving phones calls literally as we were packing up asking what the carnival dates were for 2019. If it helps, it will be from the Saturday 10th to Friday 16th August 2019.
It has been great fun being part of something this big and watching everyone enjoying themselves, which has been a sign that we are striking the right balance with the return to a family fun packed and free entertainment week.
You have all supported us so well. It has been lovely to see families staying on the lawn for the day, the children’s events and features such as the circus skills workshops, Punch and Judy, balloon modelling, clay modelling, art competition, were all a resounding success again. Our oldest entrants in the clay modelling were over 90 years of age! The Beach Day was disappointing this year due to the weather, but regardless, our hardy supporters still turned out to swim, run and even build sand castles!
Our Parade night was something to see. I am always nervous that we won’t be able to pull it off again, but when the Parade turns into the Strand and I see the crowds cheering and waving then I know we have succeeded. As it was streamed live we had people tune in from many different areas of the country too. The real proof was the Glow Show afterwards. The crowds were three to four deep on the Lawn to see Spark!, Electron and the Glow Show. I will apologise to those that had their view obscured from a slight parking mishap of our float and due to the split arena arrangements. We will be looking at those issues for 2019. However, Spark, in particular, were stunning and it was a fitting end to the week.
The Pinkies, in their now instantly recognisable polo shirts, have worked hard to make it all work. Every little bit of it. It is to this group of people that I would like to offer my sincere thanks. It has been a real privilege to work alongside such a hardworking and committed group of people. All that you have enjoyed over the Carnival week could not have happened without their involvement, alongside that of our carnival crew, volunteers and helpers.
I have thanked many people over the last few days, but without the support of the Town Council, our Mayor, our local businesses, who provide key sponsorship and you, the people of Dawlish who have been turning out in your hundreds and thousands to be part of what we are, I must thank you for your support.
A thank you should also go to our group of avid supporters on Facebook and Twitter who have, through their comments, made us realise that all the hard work was worth it with their lovely comments.
You have all made our Carnival week something special, something to be very proud of and more importantly something to bring back to you all next year. Follow the fun in 2019!
A big ‘Thank You’.
Sunday 6th August
This last few weeks we have been rushed off our feet. We have a programme, edited, published and in the shops. This year it’s Dawlish’s 50 consecutive carnival and we have a souvenir programme which is causing a stir in its own right with the price at 40 shillings. The trouble is I am old enough to work out what that is in today’s money. Some have assumed it meant good value for money at 40 pence a programme and caused a bit of a headache for the shops. Actually, it is really good value for money at £2 and packed with great events and information.
The last-minute bits and pieces are being put together, road signs are out, risk assessments completed, insurances in place……. phew? can we start enjoying it now…..oh and the acts are booked. I am really excited by that. Each year we ponder what should we get that’s different and new. This year we have the animatronic dinosaurs which I think will go down a storm with everyone. They are on the Lawn for Friday afternoon and towards the end of the Parade in the evening. It will be great.
The other wow factor this year has been building the ‘Glow Show’ to be bigger and better than last year. It is back on the Lawn after the Parade, so let the pubs wait for a bit and come down to join in the spectacle.
The team have worked their socks off this year. The amount of legislation, and bureaucracy that is needed, makes me sometimes wonder why we do it. Logistics, is a mammoth task, undertaken through Geoff and the team, 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 been a daily task for both Judith and Jill, while Sally has the float and Royal Family, and behind the scenes there are many others doing work on our behalf.
The one thing that carnival cannot continue without is volunteers.
This is a plea, to anyone and everyone who enjoys the weeklong event. We need volunteers to help around the Lawn during the week and marshals for the Parade on Friday 17th. So, if you’re interested please get in touch and let us know who you are and how you can help.
That aside, we have nearly arrived. Its Carnival week soon. So don’t forget to tell your friends and family to “Follow the Fun” get down onto the Lawn.
Tuesday 3rd July 2018
Well the programme is nearly complete, and all the events and entertainment has been booked and ready for Carnival week. This can be a busy time of the year for us all. Sally and Geoff have been getting the Carnival float ready, along with the Royal Family to attend other carnivals, and Angie has been working hard to ensure that the programme is ready for the printers. I know that a lot of effort and late nights has gone into getting these things ready. The other side of the coin is sponsorship. This has been the job of another two of our committee, Jill and Judith who have been going around the town ‘cap in hand’.
Over the last three years, our reputation has grown, and I have been quietly pleased to see the response we get from people, with sponsorship and support coming in from further afield, outside of the town. We are even getting entertainment acts ringing us now wanting to be part of the Parade. Which must be a good sign that we are getting the balance right.
The fair is another area we have tried to make different. Keeping it relatively small, ‘vintage’ or ‘retro’ (depends which generation you are!), and most important affordable. We have a 1960’s Ferris Wheel coming in this year, which will make its mark on the Lawn, but sadly we have not been able to secure the popular swing boats, although they will be back with us in 2019.
I recently made a plea in the Dawlish Gazette for the return of the carnival trophies to the committee. It is a shame that we have not been able to speak to the previous group to confirm where these are. For those that have brought trophies for competitions, will know how expensive they can be. Whilst we took a different route and introduced rosettes instead, the return of trophies would be nice. So, if you know anyone that may have one hidden away, gathering dust somewhere, please have a look and if possible return these to the Dawlish Gazette office.
On the brighter side of things, we have two amazing acts coming onto the Lawn and into the Parade this year. Sponsored by our two holiday parks, Ladysmile and Cofton. These will be showcased in the Programme when it is published, which should be around the third week in July. So, don’t be slow to get your copy and see what we have on offer. They certainly have a ‘wow factor.
In the last column I mentioned the Glow Show. Last year we introduced this for the first time and it was very popular. So, we have it back, bigger and better than last year with two new elements as well. The show should start at approximately 9.30pm.
Finally, the Carnival Parade. We are now required to insure those that wish to ‘walk’ individually or in small groups in the Parade. I have set up a ‘Dawlish Celebrates Carnival Parade Club’, which provides insurance cover for those wishing to come along and enjoy the evening without the hassle of finding their own insurance cover.
However, the names or groups must be known to us by Midday on Thursday the 16th August. The day before the Parade. If people turn up on the night, unannounced, I am afraid they will be disappointed. It is sadly a reflection of our times although this is certainly not driven by ourselves. It is a requirement of our insurance cover and something that we are now required to acknowledge and deal with.Please do not let this put you off. It will still be a great Carnival Parade, we have a fantastic line up of acts, floats, local dance groups and entertainers for you on the night. Please take part, but just let us know in good time.
As always, the committee works on your behalf, so watch out for the posters, adverts, facebook entries and articles promoting carnival and “Follow the Fun”.
It’s been a while since I started the Blog and a long time since I updated things. Personally, I blame the builders who have been working on our house for the last 5 months and taking up my time. But to great delight it’s all finished, so heads down and time to get on with spreading the word about this year’s Carnival.
We have already selected a new Royal Family for 2018. It was great to see so many turn up on the day and we also have a reserve team to cover holidays or unforeseen events. I must thank all the parents who also came along to support us. The Queen this year is Lacey Mitchell, with our two Princesses, Grace Jackson and Mylie-Faith England. The reserves are Marcella Pendleton, Isobel Dollar-Campbell and Emily-Mai Wills. Sally Stratford has been working hard alongside other committee members in getting the float ready for our first carnival which is on the 30th June in South Brent. So, if you’re in the area, come along and support us.
The programme is starting to come together, and the regular events remain alongside new and different ones. The Raft Race I have to say is struggling. Whilst the crowds are always good, the raft numbers are slipping away. I think this may be the last year we run this event, if we can’t improve on numbers, but let’s wait and see and hope for a good turnout.
The Aquathlon is back, as this was well received last year, and the Beach and Family Fun days are both back in the programme, alongside the Pram Race and It’s a knockout.
We are also looking to make the Parade bigger and better than we had last year. The acts are being booked and there will be some real head turners both in the programme during the week and walking the Parade.
Now to the nitty gritty. Last year Carnival cost in the region of £43,000. That is a huge amount to raise. Please, please, dig deep if you can or help us raise funds leading up to carnival week. We put this event on for the town and each year we get tremendous feedback, but it only needs poor weather and it will all start to unravel. If you are a sponsor please help, if someone who comes along with the family, enjoy the week, but please continue to support us in any way you can.
The Town Council have kicked this off already with a grant of £10,000 which will go a long way.
Anyone else have ideas for maintaining the week-long Carnival……just get in Touch.
Until next time!!
Tuesday 22nd August 2017
Wow what a week, whilst all the Committee and helpers are exhausted, we are all still buzzing from what has been a really, great, eight days, of Carnival events, despite the weather.
It has been great fun being part of something this big and watching everyone enjoying themselves, and what has struck me most this year, is the return of people to Carnival from outside of Dawlish and who are already booking their holidays for next year. That for me, is a real sign that we are striking the right balance with the return to a family fun packed week.
You have all supported us so well. It has been lovely to see families staying on the lawn for the day, enjoying the circus workshops, the new Family Fun Day, along with the more traditional events such as the Pram Race, Knockout and Raft Race.
The Beach Day, was also a resounding success. The 5k run and Aquathlon were really, well supported, along with sand sculpture and sea swim races, we even had the sun out as well.
The float was brilliantly designed, simple but striking. As a result, we have received 9 firsts from just seven carnivals. Some achievement. A big vote of thanks goes to Sally Stratford for the design and Geoff Wills for his unstinting support in getting us there every week.
You had the opportunity to see the float in our best and longest Parade yet. I know you have enjoyed the buzz from the variety of floats and performers, finishing back on the lawn with the Glow Show.
The Pinkies, in their now instantly recognisable polo shirts, have been locked up in stocks, enjoyed the swing boats, got wet, had moments of despair but many moments of great laughter and enjoyment. Always been on hand to answer questions whether by social media or personally.
It is too this group of people that I would like to offer my sincere thanks. It has been a real privilege to work alongside such a hardworking and committed group of people. All that you have enjoyed over the Carnival week could not have happened without their involvement, alongside that of our volunteers and helpers.
I have thanked many people over the last few days, but without the support of the Town Council, particularly our Mayor Councillor Martin Wrigley, who was at many events, either judging, handing out rosettes or on a few occasions even taking part. Our local businesses, have also been key with a range of sponsorship and a large thank you must go to them as well.
A thank you should also go to our group of avid supporters on Facebook who have, through their comments, made us realise that all the hard work was worth it with their supportive comments.
Finally, to the people of Dawlish a large thank you. You made our Carnival week something special, you turned out to support us, you made it something to be very proud of and more importantly something to bring back to you all for next year.
A big Thank You
Thursday 17th August
What a start. Fantastic. We have been so well supported again, by everyone that despite a few showers we have started year 2 with a bang. The feedback on Facebook, from visitors and locals has also been really heartening to know we are pitching Carnival and the various events right.
We are over the Warren this afternoon, with family games and fireworks tonight. If you are not in the area, don’t worry as there are acts and events still on the Lawn in town throughout the day.
Tomorrow is our Parade day and I do hope that everyone can spread the word and come back to the Lawn afterwards for the Glow Show at 10pm on the bandstand. I am sure it will be spectacular.
Saturday is our Beach Day. We normally stop on the final Friday, but this year we are on Dawlish beach. The big events are the 5k run, Aquathlon, (sea swim and run) and children’s sea swim races. Please join us, it is our first time trying this and we would love your support and feedback.
Finally, I would like thank the volunteers and helpers who, as usual, have been marvellous. One group I cannot forget though are my ‘Pinkies’. They have been fantastic, working hard from early morning to late every day. Carnival is now well and truly established through this hardworking group. A lot of us are feeling tired, so if you see a pinkie, give them a well deserved hug! Better still Let’s start, as we head towards the end of Carnival a ‘Hug a Pinkie’ campaign.
Saturday 12th August
Carnival has arrived. Friday was set up day, busy, but great to see it all coming together. There were events and stalls open on the Saturday with the official opening on Sunday the 13th August, so make sure you are there to cheer on the Committee and support our Royal Family who have been the Town’s representatives these last few weeks and won so many prizes we are having trouble finding room to display them on the float.
I wanted to make this a final thank you as well. It is hard sometimes to find the right words that lets you all know the commitment made by a few to put this event on and how well we are supported from across the Town, so a massive THANK YOU to everyone who has been involved, from building the float, taking it to carnivals, preparing the programme, booking events, behind the scenes with logistics, to organising the volunteers and marshals, to pounding the streets trying to raise funds through our sponsors.
So it’s time to enjoy the hard work, be involved, join us in the many events we have organised, be part of Carnival and have a great time.
Don’t forget………”Follow the Fun
Tuesday 8th August
Last minute preparations for Carnival week are going well and we had our last meeting on Monday night. It always gets a little fraught at this time, making sure we have covered everything and are ready for what is a really busy week.
We attended Bovey Tracy Carnival last Saturday and again, won ‘Queen of Queens’ and ‘Best Visiting Royalty Float. Amazing stuff and really well supported by the Committee and family who came along to help. We have a total of 8 cups and a shield from 6 Carnivals all of which can be seen during our own Parade night on Friday the 18th August. Again congratulations to the Royal Family.
As with all events of this size and scale, it take support. This comes from a variety of sources, from across the Town. The Town Council have, in so many ways, supported us this year, from our grant, to accessing equipment, gazebos etc. A huge thank you. There is also local business, who offer both financial and practical support. There are so many, most of whom are already named in the programme, but all will be announced against the various, sponsored event.
Finally the programme is on sale at the various outlets across town and is selling well, along with the online version. So if you want to “FOLLOW THE FUN” make sure you get your copy.
Wednesday 26th July
Last year, about this time, I was nervous, writing this column, reflecting on the short time scales we had, to put together a carnival for the town and whether it would be a good one. How wrong can you be? It was a resounding success. This year the nerves are different, it’s now about, can we match or go one better than last year!
The programme is back from the printers and in the next few days you will be able to see for yourselves the type of events we have across the week. They will be sold at 7 distribution points and will be listed in our web pages and identified by a poster in the shop windows. Our resident ‘geek’ Angie has, as ever, worked hard to get the programme ‘done and dusted’, out to the printers and back with plenty of time for everyone to buy, peruse and organise what events and competitions take their fancy. It will be another packed week that I know you will all enjoy.
Two events are back by popular demand (as the saying goes), and we are selling tickets for Ceilidh in the Strand Centre, (12th) along with Picnic in the Marquee on the last Saturday, (19th) with the 60’s Explosion band and Rob Hendy a comedy magician. Get in early as I am certain these will go quickly. The Quiz night is also back, this was packed last year with tables of teams even outside the Marquee!!
What has been good, is the involvement of other organisations. Dawlish Tennis Club, providing junior tennis, Target Bowls, played at Dawlish Lawn Bowls Club and Dawlish Warren Nature Reserve, who are kindly providing a Summer Wildlife Trail, along with Dawlish Football Club who are also raising funds for carnival through the annual Rowdy Blackwell Cup. Many thanks to you all. It just goes to show that we don’t have to have the whole carnival centred on the Lawn and that this is as much a community town event as anything else, with other organisations who now want to take part from across Dawlish. I would also like to thank the Shaftsbury Theatre who will be catering for Mas Rampage and who are back with us again this year along with a steel band.
Finally, we do have some new events this year, The Junior Pram Race, Sea Swimming competition for all ages, Aquathon for the more serious competitor, which are just a few. So, come along, be part of the Family Fun Day, get down to the seafront on the last Saturday for the Beach Day, take part, bring your family and friends, chairs, picnic, take part or just watch. This is your carnival, the whole week has something for everyone, young and old alike and I sincerely hope that you will all take part, enjoy the week as it should be enjoyed and make all the work to date worthwhile.
Friday 21st July
The PROGRAMME, is nearly ready HINT, HINT. So don’t forget to get your early copy and look out for the events that you fancy watching or taking part in. I love this part as people start talking about what is on for the week. A mad rush for entries, building Prams and Rafts, getting fancy dress costumes ready or just bringing down a blanket and picnic and enjoying the day on the Lawn. As with all things the weather makes a huge difference, to both the atmosphere and events on the Lawn. There is also a reminder that on Thursday afternoon we are over at Dawlish Warren, with family games and Tug of War, for the afternoon getting ready for the Firework Display in the evening.
Monday 17th July
I forgot to mention a while back that we held a ‘Supporters Evening’ at the Sports Bar in Sandy Lane. Volunteers and sponsors turned up, and we introduced our Royal Family along with our new Pals and Buddies Scheme. I do like a microphone but on this occasion allowed the Committee to take it off me and explain what they were all involved with. Sponsorship is key, without it we just cannot organise Carnival. Sadly this year we are not getting in as much as we did last year, as priorities with business change. Whilst I do recognize this, and appreciate the pressures businesses are under, it does have an impact on what we can do. We are still trying to raise money for Mas Rampage who were a huge success last year, and a real crowd puller. As to our lovely volunteers. There are never enough. So if you fancy getting involved, being part of something special for a few hours during the week, please get in touch with Helen on Volunteers@dawlishcelebratescarnival.co.uk or through our website and facebook pages.
Friday 14th July
When I get 5 minutes and look back at what we have achieved this year, it’s pretty amazing. We have established a Community Interest Company, a bank account, started fund raising back in February, brought and refurbished a float with new electrics, steelwork, woodwork, axles, and designed, Insurance (boy was that a shock to the system), booked events, sent Judith and Sally out prowling around the Town for sponsorship., written a safety plan and organised the legals required to put on a week long Carnival for the Town. I will say though that without our volunteers and helpers we would not be anywhere near able to put on half of what we do. I think I need a lay down now!!!!!!!
Monday 10th July
Sally and I will be wandering round the town putting up posters for some of the key events. I like this bit as you get to stop and chat to people. Although I am forever, being dragged along the Strand as I apparently take too long. This year we are asking for more teams to enter the Senior Pram Race and we are introducing again the Junior Pram Race which stays on the Lawn. Teams of three and always great events, so start thinking about what they prams will look like. Full details will be in the programme. Also for the more hardy of those amongst us I want to promote the Raft Race. I thought it would be a bit of fun to have a ‘Beach Day’, where everything we do will be down on the beach and not on the Lawn. We have Sand Art, Sea Swimming Races, Beach Treasure hunt, 5k run, (in fancy dress if you want the extra prize), and new will be the Aquathon. Adults only, 750metre swim and a 5k run, all finished off with the Raft Race. For the first time in ages we had more rafts last year so let’s top that number and get building. Ian from the Sports Bar in Sandy Lane is organising this event.
7th July 2017
Our resident Geek, Angie has been working hard and putting in late hours in getting the programme ready for printing. Whilst I work up a programme for our meetings the hard work comes when you have to get it ready for Swiftprint. Angie takes her sleeping bag and camps there for a while talking through the artwork, layout and style with Andy. I try and stick my nose in from time to time, but I know that we will have a great programme again this year put together by those that know what they are doing. It’s still £2, twice the size and really good value for money. We will also be doing an on line version again this year for those that prefer to download and work from their phones. The paper version (as I would call it) come out in late July.
5th July 2017
It’s been a busy few weeks. Despites some initial hiccups around the float we managed to get to our first carnival at Ashburton. The Royal Family of Angela, Olivia and Janaka amazing. Apart from looking the part they engaged with the judges and crowd for us to win first place for visiting Royalty. Well done girls. A huge thanks go to Sally who put the whole design together. The house looked like ‘Carnival Central’ the week before with fabric, costumes, glue guns, paints and staples, it was all fitted in one day and will now allow us to enter the remaining carnivals over the summer period. I must also thank those, particularly Geoff and the hardy few who have always been out there in all weathers refurbishing the float ready for decoration. A BIG thanks to everyone…..
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.