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Fight to save Weymouth Carnival
8:42am Tuesday 26th February 2013 in Latest
WEYMOUTH Carnival may have to be cancelled this year if organisers can’t raise enough money in time.
The warning shot comes from new independent organisers of the summer extravaganza who have been hit with extra costs.
Fresh faces volunteered to take over after local Rotary clubs, which came to the rescue of the carnival in 2010, stepped down after three years of organising it.
The newly-established Weymouth Carnival and Events Club led by Ryan Hope is finding that without a big umbrella organisation to back it like Rotary there are additional pressures when starting from scratch such as securing insurance cover for the motorised procession.
The club has set itself a target of raising £10,000 in sponsorship in the next six to eight weeks to get things off the ground but will pull the plug if the support isn’t there from locals.
When volunteers from the community last organised it they ditched the floats from the parade because the insurance premiums were too high.
Mr Hope said he wanted the floats as well as having attractions like the Red Arrows and the Red Devils but it all costs money. He said if the carnival’s 55-year tradition were to continue, the town would have to get behind it.
Mr Hope and his committee will be asking big companies to sponsor events but he also wants to target the hotels, food and holiday businesses and other town centre firms which do good business on carnival day.
Committee members are going out and knocking on doors trying to drum up support, emphasising that it’s a big money-spinner for the town as well as one of the biggest charity carnivals in the south and should be supported. Firms can sign up for sponsorship packages.
Last year’s event was looking like a washout but the sun came out later for the main attractions and the inclusion of a victory parade by Team GB’s sailing squad ahead of the procession drew the crowds.
The event was also without the popular Red Arrows. Organisers have applied for a display this year, and the Reds’ programme will be announced soon.
Mr Hope said: “The carnival is a big day for the town and is expected to raise thousands of pounds – but it also helps businesses by boosting tourism and trade.
“As well as the usual costs that we face every year in order to make the day happen we are also faced with the added costs of insurances, licenses and permits that have previously been covered by an umbrella organisation such as Round Table and Rotary when they ran the event.
“We are now looking to the town to support the event. Without the support from businesses the carnival won’t be able to take place and I feel, as do others, that would be a great shame.”
If things go to plan, Weymouth Carnival will take place this year on Wednesday, August 21.
Weymouth Carnival and Events Club has produced sponsorship packages for businesses starting from £100 and going up to big sums for events including the Red Arrows (£10,000), grand draw (£8,000) and fireworks (£5,000).
If you are interested in any of the packages, or would just like to make a donation to Weymouth Carnival and Events Club or find out more contact sponsorship coordinator Diane Moore by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
People interested in supporting this year's carnival can also contact Ryan Hope on 07795 246080 or email email@example.com Alternatively search for Weymouth Carnival on Facebook.