The Ramsgate Town Carnival committee is, at this time, making plans for the 2021 Carnival Parade. The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, made an announcement in March, that we are now on the way to lifting restrictions for COVID-19, and that hopefully by June 21 all restrictions will be lifted and larger events can be held. We know that many people will still be concerned about going out to larger events and there will be those who will enjoy being out and want to be able to enjoy the carnival. We will be guided by the restrictions put in place by the Government and our local Health and Safety Office. Social distancing and hand washing may lead to some slight changes being made but we will comply to their suggestions for the sake of everyone.
The Carnival will take place on Sunday July 25 and the parade will move off between 4pm – 4:30pm. Should we be unable to have the carnival then we will try to have it in September in conjunction with the big Royal Harbour of Ramsgate 200th Anniversary Festival or, if need be, a winter carnival at the end of November.
We would like this carnival to be one of the best we have put on and the best way to do this is to encourage everyone to join in with the carnival spirit. It is completely FREE to enter the parade and we encourage all ages to take part. Children under 16 years will need to be accompanied by an adult. There are no restrictions for gender, religion, or country of origin, we encourage the carnival to be a diverse as possible.
You don’t have to have a big lorry to decorate, in fact, these are getting harder to book as the drivers have to use the time as their days off because of the tachograph in the lorry cab that monitors the drivers hours. Decorate whatever you have, children, yourselves, cars, bikes, scooters, dogs and friends. Join together and come up with a theme and use your imagination, make it fun so children can join in with making things and get into the carnival spirit, you can get an entry form from April 1, or you can just turn up on the day by 2pm. All we ask is that you carry official collecting tins and encourage, but don’t bully, people into giving a few pennies, all money collected must be handed in to the official stewards at the end of the parade. All buckets are recorded to the person carrying them. If you are walking, get talking to people or the group near to you and chat to the crowds, make it fun!
We ask people to donate as we have to hire bands to play in the parade and the majority cost around £400 each. If every person donated one penny for each float, you would spend less than a pound and the carnival will benefit from a good amount of money to enable them to put on another carnival the following year. Apart from bands, we also have to pay Thanet District Council, Health and Safety, Road closures, Insurance, First Aid cover and land hire for the fair to stand on Government Acre.
Should you want a good view of the parade and fewer people, then don’t forget the parade goes round in a large circuit. Lots of people are at the start and also by the harbour, but by the time we get to Queen Street and West Cliff Road there are very few people to cheer us on our way home. The parade does not get any smaller as we near the end, everyone stays in the parade until they reach the start point and then they start to disperse. We are lucky that people from outside of Ramsgate want to come to our carnival for the ambience and the lovely views as we pass the harbour, but it would be nice to have more Ramsgate people in it, we are rated as one of the top five carnivals in Kent, so we want it to go on. If you are part of a social group, a business, trade, voluntary group, nursery or school, please encourage them to enter. When you enter the carnival it is the best way of advertising what you do or sell, your entry will be seen by thousands and you can give out flyers or stickers to the crowd as long as you don’t throw anything to injure anyone.
Many of you may have seen that we are advertising for a new Chairman plus other officers on the committee. After my last article in this magazine, we only had one lady who kindly offered to help us but she lives in Essex, although she has family in Ramsgate. We thank her for her support but if nobody else comes forward this could be our last carnival, my Husband and I have now done 33 years in the service of Ramsgate Carnival and it is time to hand over the reins, if you want any information please contact me on the details below.
We would like to thank Ramsgate Town Councillors for their support and for giving us a grant towards to some of the expenses of carnival.
If you feel you would like to help out or get an entry form after April 1 please contact myself, Marion Pearce, Vice President on 07798 677140 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
, or contact the Parade Organiser, Mick Pidduck on 07738 294021 or email email@example.com
, for parade entries and enquiries for stalls at fair.