Bridgwater Carnival 2012 - The Future?
Members of Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival Committee have agreed and voted to hold Bridgwater Carnival on a Saturday in 2012, as part of a three year trial.
At a regular meeting of the 60 member strong committee earlier in the week, it was generally accepted that moving to a Saturday was the best strategy for the long term benefit and survival of Bridgwater Carnival.
The three year trial coincides with a window of opportunity between 2012 and 2014 where the first Saturdays fall within the first three days of November, and so by holding Bridgwater Carnival on Saturday 3 November 2012, Saturday 2 November 2013 and Saturday 1 November 2014, North Petherton and all other carnivals can retain their planned dates for those three years.
During 2014 the organisers will comprehensively review and evaluate the trial, and as part of the process will seek views from other carnival committees and stakeholders on how successful the new day has been and the impact it has had upon them.
The decision has been taken following concerns over the long term future of Bridgwater Carnival. Unfortunately with the present economic environment fundraising is becoming increasingly difficult, and last year’s street collection of £24,484 was the lowest since 2002. In addition the continuous onslaught of more regulations and licence fees is making the carnival more expensive to run, and this is not expected to change in the near future.
Dave Stokes, publicity officer for Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival, said: “The committee is committed to looking at ways of improving and securing the long term future of Bridgwater Carnival, and moving the carnival to a Saturday for a trial period falls into that category.
“We have written to Somerset County Guy Fawkes Carnival Association and advised them of our plans, and we hope to work in partnership with the other carnival committees in taking our proposal forward. We would like to reiterate that no other county carnival will be affected by our decision.
“We are absolutely determined to ensure the tradition of Bridgwater Carnival is maintained for many years to come for the benefit of the local community.”