Resort carnival cancelled – but hoping late summer community event possible
PUBLISHED: 11:30 15 April 2020
One of Suffolk’s biggest annual events has been cancelled as the coronavirus outbreak continues to eat away at this year’s calendar across the county.
Felixstowe Carnival was due to take place on the weekend of July 24-26 but organisers say it will now not happen, though they are are looking at the possibility of an August Bank Holiday event if restrictions are lifted by then.
The event brings 25,000-plus people to Felixstowe to see the parade and along with the colourful cavalcade there are music concerts and a popular proms evening, as well as funfair and various displays and activities.
A statement from the carnival committee said: “The decision to cancel the event takes account a number of factors, not least of course the scale of the current public health emergency and likely continuing restrictions to prevent the transmission of coronavirus.
“We are acutely aware too that businesses – our supporters and suppliers among them – have been substantially affected; many are unable to trade currently and when they are able to resume, there will be staffing and supply challenges to overcome.
“However, we must all try to remain optimistic and look forward to better times ahead soon. It is for that reason that the committee are now looking into staging a seafront event over the late Summer Bank Holiday weekend of 28-30 August.
“We hope that by then, Felixstowe and neighbours will be able to come together to celebrate the very real sense of community that exists in our town – it has always been there of course, but perhaps is all the more visible now through the generosity of spirit, support to others and acts of kindness shown by so many during the crisis.”
As there will be no procession this year, the committee is also exploring the possibility of a ‘virtual carnival’ to be published on the event’s website and Facebook page.
The statement added: “We sincerely appreciate support from local businesses and organisations through sponsorship and advertising to finance Felixstowe Carnival. In light of the unprecedented challenges facing everyone we will not be reaching out for financial support this year from them and we will also be refunding monies already received.
“Keep safe Felixstowe – we will strive to offer some sort of event later this year to benefit the whole community and with your help we are more determined than ever to make 2021 the biggest and best Felixstowe Carnival yet.”
The team also thanked Felixstowe Town Council, Felixstowe Forward and East Suffolk Council for their advice and support.
The huge number of visitors to the carnival each year always provides a huge boost to local traders as well as showing off what Felixstowe has to offer.
The event has been running for more than 60 years and is always well supported by community groups and organisations as well as businesses, with many taking part in the procession and sponsorsing other events associated with the weekend.