‘Carnival 20 brought the smiles back’ - Event chairman reflects on virtual outing

Well's carnival commitee toasting the NHS and key workers on carnival night. Picture: Pat Weston

Well's carnival commitee toasting the NHS and key workers on carnival night. Picture: Pat Weston - Credit: Archant

The chairman of one of Norfolk’s most popular carnivals believes a virtual event has brought smiles back to the town.

Wells carnival committee chair, Patrick Weston. Picture: Frances Marshall

Wells carnival committee chair, Patrick Weston. Picture: Frances Marshall - Credit: Archant

Pat Weston, 54 from Wells is the chairman of the town’s carnival. The committee was facing the prospect of the town missing the summer event for the first time in over 90 years due to Covid-19.

The carnival committee has been working tirelessly organising a virtual carnival for the town, taking place from August 1 until August 8.

The event featured quizzes, pet shows, demonstrations, competitions. As well as games across the town including a virtual raft race.

Reflecting on the event, Mr Weston said: “I am very proud and pleased. It really highlights the hard work of the committee.

Blue Skies campsite staff pulling the caravan to mark Well's carnival day. Picture: Pat Weston

Blue Skies campsite staff pulling the caravan to mark Well's carnival day. Picture: Pat Weston - Credit: Archant


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“Walking around seeing people having fun, a program in hand and children smiling is fantastic in these troubling times.

“Covid-19 had a major effect but carnival 20 brought the smiles back.”

MORE: Market town has second festive event cancelled in as many weeksMr Weston said it would have been easy to “down tools this year”, but they wanted to give the people of Wells something to smile about.

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“We pulled our socks up and put something on and I’m incredibly proud of that,” he said.

Well's fire station decorated for carnival day. Picture: Pat Weston

Well's fire station decorated for carnival day. Picture: Pat Weston - Credit: Archant

“People have been struggling with Covid, losing jobs or family members.

“We are pleased to have something to use to take their minds off these things and offer something like a similar carnival experience.”

The town didn’t go without a parade, with Blue Skies Campsite towing a caravan around the carnival route.

However, they said that local charities did miss out on key fundraising.

Well's carnival commitee worked to pull off the virtual carnival. Picture: Pat Weston

Well's carnival commitee worked to pull off the virtual carnival. Picture: Pat Weston - Credit: Archant

Mr Weston had pleaded with anyone who enjoyed the carnival this year to donate via the carnival’s website.

MORE: Man hits out after ‘outrageous’ wait to pay at seaside car parkHe said there were a few technical issues as the committee members got the grips with the virtual side.

He thanked all the committee members for their hard work. In particular, the video editing skills of Fran and Nigel Marshal who worked on creating videos for their YouTube page.

The team will meet next month to start plans for next year’s carnival.

The chairman does not want the virtual side to go away, planning to have some online features running alongside the 2021 event.

Donations to charities supported by Wells carnival can be made here.

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