LITTLEHAMPTON Carnival is just over two weeks away from its 40th anniversary event, but apathy is threatening to take the sheen off the celebrations.
Organisers admit they are disappointed with the poor response to their appeal for support from businesses, voluntary groups, schools and playgroups as they prepare for the special occasion with a bumper weekend of fun.
The carnival will extend over two days, with the traditional parade and daytime entertainment in the town centre on Saturday, July 12, followed on the Sunday by a fun day on Southfields recreation ground.
However, carnival president Freda Hughes, who helped to revive the town’s big summertime event in 1974, admitted this week she was disappointed so few people had come forward, willing either to join in the procession with floats or walking groups, or offering practical support through sponsorship or serving as marshals.
“We delivered more than 150 letters asking people to take part in whatever way they could. Last year, people were complaining that the procession wasn’t as good as it has been, but when we ask them to help us make it better, there’s not much response.
“As this is our 40th anniversary, we want to make it really special. We have invited back as many as possible of the Carnival Queens, Princesses, Junior Queens, Junior Princesses and Flower Girls as we have been able to track down, and we’re expecting about 23 to be with us on the day, riding in an open-top double-decker bus, including the 1976 Carnival Queen, Beverley Bence, now Beverley Homer.
“We’ve also got past members of the carnival committee joining us, including one coming down from Scotland.”
Freda said there was a desperate need for more volunteers as marshals on the parade route, street collectors along the route and for more groups to take part in the procession.
“We need more sponsors, too – we’ve already booked four excellent bands, the Romsey Old Cadets, Bournemouth Carnival, City of Coventry and Farnborough Drum and Trumpet Corps, which cost a lot of money,” said Freda.
Anyone who can help in any way possible is asked to contact Freda, telephone 01903 716634.