High hopes of lasting survival for carnival

ORGANISERS of one of Suffolk’s most popular annual seaside events are quietly confident of its return next year.

Early indications suggest that Aldeburgh Carnival was a success, judging by the thousands of visitors to the town who lined the streets for the traditional procession.

It had been feared the event could be at risk if not enough volunteers came forward to help – but concerns were allayed by the collective spirit of everyone involved.

Total proceeds of the three-day event are yet to be fully calculated, but organisers said they were “cautiously optimistic” that the carnival was a financial success.

The organising committee will meet in September to evaluate the outcome of the carnival, which this year celebrated its 70th anniversary.

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Keith Batt, press liaison officer for Aldeburgh Carnival, said: “It’s difficult to say without having all the figures but in terms of turnout, general atmosphere and weather, it was a real success.

“Gut feeling suggests the economic situation is starting to bite. We have to do all we can to pare down the logistic costs, which go up every year and include things like traffic management. Until we have finished all the arithmetic we can’t be as positive as we would like.”

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Concerns for the future of the carnival were shared in the lead up to this year’s event when it was revealed that organisers were desperate for volunteers to lend a hand laying out the procession route and spectator areas.

But a public plea earned the desired response when volunteers came forward to help out, including members of 653 Squadron Army Air Corps, who were given freedom of the town.

Organisers had also expressed fears that the previous year’s event could be the last because of rising costs associated with policing and traffic control. But the carnival committee said donations hit a record high – helping them to meet the �40,000 cost.

Mr Batt said he hoped this year’s would prove successful enough for organisers to begin planning the carnival’s return in 2013, adding: “Somehow or other we will make it, I’m sure. The appropriate phrase would be cautious optimism.

“The enthusiasm is as strong as ever, and by hook or by crook we’ll be here next year.”

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