Call for action as Lowestoft Carnival parade plans advance

PROGRESS on this year's Lowestoft Carnival parade was made during a 'very positive' meeting this week.

A meeting was held at the Town Hall on Monday, chaired by outgoing mayor and leader of the Labour group on Waveney District Council Tod Sullivan, with carnival organisers from the Friends of Lowestoft Hospital.

The carnival committee members attended the meeting along with Lowestoft town centre manager Emma King, Britten Centre manager Dan Poitras, Darren Newman from the council and a member of the Gwen Baker Trust John Stannard – who threw the parade a financial lifeline earlier this year, by offering funds through the trust to help meet its costs.

Discussing the parade route, the team are working on a date of Sunday, September 23 for the annual procession this year.

Friends of Lowestoft Hospital chairman Pat Rayner said: 'I am greatly encouraged by the enthusiasm shown by all the participants at the meeting set up by Tod Sullivan to help to rescue this year's Carnival parade. The practical help offered with form filling and writing risk assessments is very welcome.

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'Having representatives from the police and particularly the County Council highways team helped to resolve a number of issues. Our preferred route, and that of John Stannard, for this year, is the traditional south to north one from Kirkley Park Road to Katwijk Way.

'The meeting was told that the Olympic Torch Relay would be bringing some articulated support lorries through London Road North in July and that would be a good test to see if the Carnival parade could take a similar route another year.'

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Delighted with how the meeting had gone, and calling on local support for the parade now, Mr Sullivan said: 'I really hope people are encouraged by the news, we had a very positive meeting.

'What we really need now is for people to join the carnival parade and we really want to make it unique and original so think different and think big. 'We'd love to see dance groups, singing groups, sports groups and they can walk the route or dance the route rather than have a float if they would like to – in fact that would be great as the crowd can really interact and get involved,' Mr Sullivan said.

'We are also looking to have a high street spectacular immediately after, for the first time London Road North and the High Street will be central to the event as we'll ask those groups who can perform in the street such as dancers, musicians and so forth to set up all the way up and down the town centre and perform their acts to provide another hour of entertainment alongside the shops which will be open.

'It would be good to see this type of activity along the route, so for example the London Road South area may like to have entertainment after the carnival procession and arrange something,' Mr Sullivan said. 'This is a new carnival and I'd love Lowestoft to show that we can do it our way!'

Entry forms are now available on the Lowestoft Carnival website or via e-mail

A spokesman for the Carnival committee added: 'Overall the view was that the meeting had been very successful and that with all the additional expertise from those around the table – that the parade could be rescued and could grow – which would be really good for the town.'

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