Everything you need to know about the Dereham Carnival
PUBLISHED: 10:06 16 July 2017 | UPDATED: 10:06 16 July 2017
Every last detail is being fine-tuned to ensure Dereham Carnival this Sunday is a celebration to remember.
With more floats, more stalls, more entertainment and more sponsorship the event will bring the whole community together and prove that the success of last year’s carnival was not just a one-off.
No stone has been left unturned by the organising committee who say they learned so much from last year, the first time the carnival had been held in the town for 20 years.
“People came out to see if we could do it last year and we did it,” said chairman Kerry Doyle. “Now we have to grow from that. People were sceptical last year and there were a few negative comments before the day but it turned out to be a huge success and this year has been nothing but positivity for the event.”
Ms Doyle said the growth of the event owed a lot to the community, particularly through increased sponsorship and the willingness of businesses to offer help and support for free.
“We have more support from the big national companies that have businesses in Dereham,” she said. “The only way we can do it is with more money, but I have been overwhelmed by the generosity of some people. The guys at A-Plant Lux are doing the road closures for free, Kurt Oliver at The Metro nightclub is organising overnight security for three nights for free - everyone wants to support their carnival.”
Committee member Jo Tomlin is in charge of the stalls on the recreation ground. This year there will be 75 stalls and 15 food and drink stands.
“They are mainly local charities and we have tried to get as many in as possible,” she said.
“We have said they all have to provide an activity on their stall, whether it is naming a teddy or counting sweets in a jar. We didn’t just want people handing out leaflets.”
She said they were amazed at the carnival spirit when they went out house-to-house with flyers.
“One man said he was in a band and could he play next year,” she said. “I even was handed a tug-of-war trophy that had been made for a previous carnival but never used, by a former committee member from years ago.”
Every penny made by the carnival will go towards next year’s event, the East Anglian Air Ambulance and other local charities.
* See next week’s Dereham Times for four pages of pictures and coverage of the event.
The carnival parade starts at 11am on Greenfields Road, with dozens of floats and groups, both motorised and on foot, leading out on their tour of the town.
The route will take them left out of Greenfields Road onto Norwich Road towards the town and then right into Crown Road.
From there the parade will turn into Neatherd Road and across the traffic lights to Wellington Road and the war memorial.
Turning left at the war memorial the floats will then travel through the Market Place where they will be able to admire all the colourful yarn-bombing creations on the street furniture made by the Big Knit team.
Then, ignoring the one-way sign, the parade will go the wrong way down the High Street to the roundabout at the library, where it will take London Road.
It comes to an end just before the Station Road roundabout.
* If you can’t make it on Sunday but don’t want to miss the parade, follow our Facebook Live video on our EDP24 and Dereham Times Facebook pages.
Road closures, parking and buses
All the roads affected by the parade will be subject to a rolling road closure between 10.30am and 12.30pm.
This is to ensure the safety of all those involved in the parade and is hoped to cause minimal disruption to motorists on the day.
Yellow road closure signs are already in place ahead of the event on Sunday and drivers are asked to plan alternative routes if they need to get from one end of Dereham to the other during those times.
There is strictly no parking on the recreation ground for anyone other than those already authorised or notified.
But there is disabled parking at Strikes on Station Road for those who need to use it.
All the other free town centre car parks are open as usual and normal restrictions apply but they are expected to be busy.
Those intending to come by bus are advised to check with the company first for times and drop off points.
Kings, queens and sponsors
Olivia Hunt and Zachery Kneller will take centre stage as Carnival Queen and King on Sunday.
The youngsters were awarded the roles by a panel of judges at a selection day in March.
They will be joined on the float by two attendants - Isobel Hammond and Eva Cutler.
They were all treated to a pre-Carnival photo shoot with Dereham photographer Michael Lyons.
This year community involvement and sponsorship is greater than ever.
Platinum sponsors are: CC Wells, Cabins Unlimited, Dereham Decorating Supplies, The Railway Tavern, Spire Solicitors, Parsons, Bright Maintenance Services, Busseys, Staples Builders Ltd, Dereham Tiles & Carpets, MJB Builders Ltd, First Aid & Care Training.
McDonalds is sponsoring the music stage, A-Plant Lux from Watton is sponsoring the main arena, and Tesco is sponsoring the parade. There is a Grand Raffle sponsored by East Bilney Garage.
While the carnival team has organised everything down to the tiniest detail, one thing they have no control over is the weather.
But, as it stands, the forecast for Sunday is looking pretty good.
Phil Garner, forecaster at the UEA’s Weatherquest, said: “At the moment it looks like there won’t be any problem, and dry in the morning, but the outside chance of a very isolated light shower in the afternoon.
“Temperatures look set to be around 23 degrees celsius (73 degrees farenheit) so it will be comfortably warm and really most of the day should be dry.
“There will be a gentle west to north-westerly breeze.”
He said the outlook was quite settled for the next few days as high pressure builds into next week.
The following weekend is looking more changeable so, at this stage, it looks like the carnival team has picked the right weekend.
If you need to know anything else head to the Dereham carnival website here.