Gallery: Scaled-down Stowmarket Carnival defies the elements

A TWO-DAY carnival, which had to scale down after it struggled to raise enough money, was cancelled on Saturday because of bad weather.

Organisers of the 52nd Stowmarket Carnival made the decision after an overnight deluge meant cars going onto the event’s site at the Recreation Ground, would have caused damage to the site.

But the popular procession, which goes through the town centre, still went ahead on the Saturday, as did Sunday’s programme of events.

Denise Hutton, chair of the Stowmarket Carnival Committee said: “My health and safety officer was on the ground, it was absolutely chucking it down. He advised me it was up to us, if we take vehicles on here and if the grounds are ruined we would get charged for it, which is understandable.

“We did not want to wreck the Recreation Ground.

“It was one of the biggest decisions that we have had to make.

“It was horrible, it was one of the worst years. It brightened up on Sunday and we had the pet and dog show, which was brilliant, a car show and the Salvation Army did a church service in the evening.”

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Between 400-500 people turned up on the Sunday after Mrs Hutton made the decision to go ahead with the scheduled events in the morning.

The procession, which had eight floats, started at the ICI Paints factory, now run by AkzoNobel, and weaved through the town before reaching its destination at the Recreation Ground.

Councillors on Stowmarket Town Council agreed to send a grant of �1,000 to the carnival committee only four weeks ago after the previous year’s event failed to raise enough money.

The committee was going to have to foot a bill for �500 for road signs advising of street closures.

But the cost was met after a generous anonymous donation.

Now, Mrs Hutton is proposing to organise fundraising events every month to boost the chances of the carnival going ahead next year.

But Mrs Hutton said the carnival may still have to be scaled down to a one-day event.

“I know that the general public want to support us, we did not know whether the town thought well of the carnival,” said Mrs Hutton.

“The people did turn up and still had smiley faces and people were coming up to us. They have given us encouragement, we know now that they like it.”

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