We live in a tiny, well, not so tiny any more, town. When I was a lad growing up, our town had a population of less than 6000. Nowadays we are at over 13000 and growing. I guess growth is inevitable but I often remark on being able to stand on the hill and see our little town and all the fields surrounding it. Now I can just see buildings. As children, we would cycle or just walk, three or four miles up the hill to the wildlife park on the summer holidays and half term. That right there is a tradition long gone, the wildlife park closed many years ago and became a leisure complex.
There are traditions however that have stood the test of time. Our town hosted its first carnival after the war in 1948, yes, we had our first carnival queen. Betty Lee.
Still Going Strong
During the early fifties, there was a 13-year break, politics and lack of support meant no carnival. In 1967 however, a group of town folk decided that reviving the town carnival was a great way to raise funds for local causes, the carnival was back. early on in the 70’s, a federation was formed between 4 towns, this increased the size of the carnivals as entries from other towns would participate.
Every year, we would walk into the town to watch this marvel of lights, music and hijinx. Hot food vendors would be on hand though we used to just want the hot chocolate.
I won’t say how many but many years later, we take our children to the town every year for this wonderful event. Even the older children still marvel at the noise. The lights. The colourful shows. 2 Years ago, our children actually took part in the carnival, they absolutely loved the whole thing, the atmosphere, the cheering, even the 2-hour walk.
Every year, the carnival costs in excess of £6000 to host. Something that shows how much our town loves the carnival is the fact that every year, records are smashed for donations received toward the carnival and good causes. This is one tradition I hope never gets phased out. Do you have carnivals in your town or city? I would love to know, I do hope you have enjoyed reading this. The pictures really don’t do it justice, maybe you need to visit and see it for yourself?
Here is a youtube video of just one of the many floats at the carnival this year, isn’t it great!