The dedicated band who volunteer their time all year round to make Midsomer Norton Carnival possible have launched an appeal for local residents to show their support by donating £1. In return they will receive a yellow friendship band with the message ‘SUPPORTING MIDSOMER NORTON CARNIVAL’.
The appeal is designed to tap into the local pride in Midsomer Norton Carnival which is an iconic event in the town for all ages to enjoy as well as raising money for good causes who collect on the night. Founded in 1947 after war the Carnival ran until 1961 when it was forced to close as a result of Norton Radstock Town Council’s unwillingness to allow the traditional Carnival funfair which helped underpin the event’s finances. Eventually the Carnival returned in 1975 but it had lost its place in the Bridgwater Carnival Circuit. In the 1990s the event left the High Street and moved to Westfield before returning in November 2014.
“Whilst there’s huge support for Carnival on the night, with thousands of people attending, modern health and safety legislation has meant that costs have soared in recent years. I don’t think many people realise that it now costs almost £30,000 to put on Carnival. From crowd barriers to electric road signage as far out as Writhlington we need to be able to raise the funds to cover the cost, and a pledge of just £1 for a yellow wrist band can help ensure Carnival’s future”, said Hazel Franklin of the Midsomer Norton & District Carnival Association.
This year Carnival is appealing for support with a wide range of new initiatives. There are Corporate Sponsorship Packages available for a range of budgets which will enable local businesses to raise their brand awareness to the thousands of people who attend the event. In addition local people can also purchase a deluxe Carnival Hospitality experience with an all in parking, pre-event bar and buffet and prime location covered seating in the High Street.
“The Carnival Association have made a fantastic effort to meet the highest safety standards and to think of new ways to raise money to secure not just the future of this year’s event but the whole future of Carnival. I think it’s now over to the community to support it or face the prospect that in future years we simply won’t have this amazing spectacle which lights up the Autumn season and raises so much money for local good causes”, said Paul Myers, Mayor of Midsomer Norton
You have to hand it to the Carnival Association – no one can say they are not trying to ensure the future of this much loved event. It’s surely now up to the community in the coming weeks to buy those wrist bands, available from shops in the High Street, and step up to the challenge.