Seaside carnival cancels for first time in 50 years due to pandemic
Norfolk’s biggest seaside summer carnival has cancelled amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Cromer Carnival, which was due to take place from August 15-21, will no longer go ahead.
Tony Shipp, carnival chairman, said it had become impossible to organise the event as normal, and it was better to cancel now than later.
Mr Shipp said: “Planning the carnival is a 12-month operation and booking and signing contracts for the various top-class acts and events is a large financial commitment.
“The committee would lose this if they hung on in the hope that the carnival would go ahead in August, only to find that the public were still restricted in travelling and coming together in large crowds.
“Financial outlay before Cromer Carnival is around £20,000 and would be greater the nearer we get to August. If we leave cancelling acts and hired equipment, such as marquees and toilets, until the last minute much of that money would be lost.
“Cancelling now means losing the minimum amount rather than all of it.”
Cromer Carnival regularly attracts up to 40,000 people from all over the country.
Mr Shipp said the event depended on local business, many of which would not be able to offer their support this year because they were also facing tough times due to the pandemic.
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He said: “This has been a difficult decision to make and my committee are well aware of the implications of it. This will be the first time that anyone under 50 years old, living in Cromer, has not had a carnival in August.
“Our main concern at the moment is making sure that you are all keeping safe and well and that we will be able to continue in 2021.”
Other coastal carnivals have not yet decided whether or not to cancel for 2020.
An update on March 18 from the committee of Sheringham Carnival, scheduled for August 3-11, said that while the Easter bonnet parade and Crab and Lobster Festival were cancelled “all other scheduled events will continue as planned, but we will continue to review the current situation and government advice”.
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And the organisers of Wells Carnival have said: “Directors and committee members of Wells Carnival Ltd are reviewing the information being made available by the government and will be making a decision regarding Wells Carnival 2020 by April 28 at the latest.”