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Sudbury: Could you be the first ‘carnival prince’?

18:00 02 April 2014

Sudbury carnival organiser Jack Owen wearing a crown for a story about how they have been accused of being sexist for looking for a “carnival queen�. So the brief has been broadened to look for a carnival king.

Sudbury carnival organiser Jack Owen wearing a crown for a story about how they have been accused of being sexist for looking for a “carnival queen�. So the brief has been broadened to look for a carnival king.

Having failed so far to find a young lady to reign over their carnival as queen for the day, organisers of an August bank holiday event are considering widening the brief – to include men.

Sudbury carnival organiser Jack Owen wearing a crown for a story about how they have been accused of being sexist for looking for a “carnival queen�. So the brief has been broadened to look for a carnival king. Organisers, left to right, Sue Ayres, Freddy Lay, Jack Owen, Neil Taylor, Rob Spivey.Sudbury carnival organiser Jack Owen wearing a crown for a story about how they have been accused of being sexist for looking for a “carnival queen�. So the brief has been broadened to look for a carnival king. Organisers, left to right, Sue Ayres, Freddy Lay, Jack Owen, Neil Taylor, Rob Spivey.

The committee behind the bid to revive the Sudbury carnival after a break of more than 20 years are determined to bring the town’s streets alive once more with colourful 
processions and floats.

Committee chairman Jack Owen said they had received eight applications from aspiring carnival princesses, but their plans for a perfect parade have been hampered by the lack of interest from potential carnival queens.

Some have suggested that could be because some people view the role of a carnival queen as outmoded or even “sexist”.

Mr Owen said: “We have received some complaints that we are being sexist by only involving females but to be honest, we are only following tradition.

“We contacted several other towns that hold carnivals and as yet we are not aware of any that have a carnival king or prince.

“But just to show how innovative Sudbury is, and we won’t rule it 
out.”

Deputy mayor Robert Spivey added: “If the girls in the town aren’t willing to support us then we might have to consider having a young man as a 
carnival prince.”

The idea is that the royal figurehead and her/his attendants will be chosen at a Carnival Queen & Princesses Dance on May 24 from those who have applied.

They will then feature on the main float as the focal point of the carnival procession. The queen – or prince – will also get to dress up and attend official functions on the day with the mayor.

Committee secretary Sue Ayres – who believes the queen is still a relevant part of any carnival – has not given up on finding the right woman for the job.

She said: “There are so many beautiful girls around Sudbury – I am very surprised we haven’t had more interest. We have talked to the organisers of Felixstowe carnival, which is very successful, and they told us the idea of a carnival queen has always been very well received.”

The application form can be downloaded from sudburycarnival.org.

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