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One man has a plan to bring back Bury St Edmunds Carnival after 13-year break

PUBLISHED: 18:06 16 August 2019 | UPDATED: 18:06 16 August 2019

This was taken at the last carnival in 2006 and shows the parade from the West Suffolk College car park through the town centre to Angel Hill and Abbey gardens.
The winning float from the 6th Bury Beaver scouts Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

This was taken at the last carnival in 2006 and shows the parade from the West Suffolk College car park through the town centre to Angel Hill and Abbey gardens. The winning float from the 6th Bury Beaver scouts Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

Bury St Edmunds Carnival could be revived as early as next year, as the community rallies behind plans to bring back the popular event.

Gary Lee, from Stowmarket, is trying to build a team to bring back Bury St Edmunds Carnival Picture: CONTRIBUTEDGary Lee, from Stowmarket, is trying to build a team to bring back Bury St Edmunds Carnival Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Thousands flocked to the last carnival in 2006, which was held to mark the 400th anniversary of Bury St Edmunds Town Council.

READ MORE: Thousands flock to Bury carnival

People speak fondly of the community event, which had a procession featuring colourful floats, but attempts to bring it back have proved unsuccessful.

Now, Gary Lee, who has experience running Stowmarket Carnival, is moving back to Bury and is garnering support for its revival - with hopes it could happen in summer 2020.

A message on a Facebook group for the Bury community already has more than 140 comments, with many offering "good luck" and saying it would be "amazing".

Mr Lee said: "People always say in Bury 'we wish we had our carnival back' and it would be nice to have it back.

"I have got most of the experience now. If I can get enough help, I'm sure I can get it back again.

"It brings the community together. The amount of pride you get is amazing."

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The 47-year-old said he had been "overwhelmed" with the support for the event on Facebook, adding it made him "more determined" to achieve it.

Peter Thompson, Bury St Edmunds Town Mayor, said he was "100%" behind the plans, which would bring people into the town.

"Something like this is positive and joyous - why wouldn't we want to engage with it? With Brexit, we could all do with a party for a start."

The Town Clerk Greg Luton added: "The idea of the town carnival returning to Bury is exciting. Involvement by residents in festivals such as this are a great idea, especially next year as we celebrate the 1000th year of the Abbey of St Edmund.

This was taken at Bury carnival in 1993.This was taken at Bury carnival in 1993.

"It looks like 2020 will be a bumper year for the town!"

To finance the event, Mr Lee said he would explore sponsorship and fundraising activities.

He would need an event licence from West Suffolk Council, and other permissions - for example for road closures - may be necessary.

A spokesperson for West Suffolk Council said: "Our parks and open spaces host many community events every year and we are always happy to try and accommodate organisers' wishes whenever we can."

The 

Bury carnival floats and parade in 2004 Picture: MICHAEL HALLThe Bury carnival floats and parade in 2004 Picture: MICHAEL HALL

Mr Lee is planning a meeting at the Hunter Club for Thursday, September 5, for anyone who may be interested in being a committee member or volunteer for the carnival.

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