Portishead Carnival will be taking next year off but the event will be back with a bang in 2014.
Organisers Jemma Cooper and Wendy Watkins, say they need a rest after celebrating 10 years at the helm. The duo stepped in to run the carnival after it was in danger of dying out due to lack of interest.
Over the last 10 years, with the help of a dedicated team of volunteers, the event has grown to one of the biggest in North Somerset with a huge procession winding through the town’s High Street and well known bands and acts on the show field.
Every year money raised from the event goes to local charities and organisations with Portishead Christmas Lights among the main beneficiaries.
This year to celebrate their 10th anniversary the pair held a two day carnival which kicked off in spectacular fashion on Friday June 15. The world famous Red Arrows RAF flight display team performed a breath-taking display over the Lake Grounds in the evening and on Saturday June 16 the town’s high street saw the largest crowds it has ever had watching the procession, despite heavy rain.
Many who attended said it was the best carnival ever. [Click for link to Video]
But the duo say it was a lot of work and money to make this year such a success and have decided to take a 12-month break to re-charge.
Jemma said: “Lots of big events such as Glastonbury Festival and the Bristol Kite Festival take years off from time to time. It is very common in the event industry.
“It takes a huge amount of work and money to do these things properly. This year, although absolutely wonderful, was extremely tiring and more expensive than normal. It is more than likely we will hold a series of fundraising events in 2013 instead.
“It always costs us around £10,000 to put the carnival every year but this year we had the added expense of almost £13,000 for the Red Arrows. The weather was also against us and at one point we were re-designing the entire site plan on the show field due to health and safety with just two days to go. People also kept speculating that either carnival or the Red Arrows were going to be cancelled due to the weather and we were constantly having to fend off rumours which was very draining.
“But the whole weekend was a great success and we loved it. We are so grateful to all our volunteers, everyone that supported us, got involved on the day and turned out to watch the procession and come to the field in the rain. We can’t thank you enough but we are going to have a little break. We will certainly be back in 2014!”
Wendy added: “We hope that a year off will re-charge everyone's batteries. The last 10 years has been amazing but very hard work – this especially for me as I was eight months pregnant!
“However the rewards in seeing the whole town enjoying themselves are always enormous and I have loved every minute. But a year off will give me precious time with my new baby."
22 August 2012