Community spirit will ensure carnival is a hit

Carnival organisers have praised Watton's community spirit as the annual spectacular gets ready to go ahead this weekend.

The event, which will take place on Sunday, has been funded thanks to the generosity of local traders and organisations who have dug deep to ensure townsfolk have an enjoyable day.

It follows a plea issued by chairman Steve Jolly in the Times last month.

Organisers had feared they would not have time to raise the funds after preparations for the carnival got off to a slow start because of concerns about a new road closure fee – which was later reduced by the county council.

But businesses and organisations quickly came forward with offers of financial support to pay for rides, publicity and other key costs.

Carnival secretary Cheryl Clayton said: 'It shows what a lovely community we live in. Normally we go out and ask all the local shops for their support and they take out a small advert to help fund it.

'This year we haven't had to do any of that. They've come to us. It's such a nice community feeling when people come forward to contact you.'

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Adcocks, on the High Street, has donated money towards the carnival brochure and other costs while Co-operative Funeralcare, East Anglian builders merchants Ridgeons and Wayland Chamber of Commerce have also sponsored the event.

It means the carnival will once again be free to attend this year with a climbing wall – paid for by Watton Town Council – also free to use.

Activities begin at 11am with a family worship event and the official opening ceremony, with new town mayor Michael Wassell, will take place at 11.45am.

Carnival entertainment will include live music and dance displays on the main stage at Chaston Place.

Children's fairground rides and food and drink stalls – which will help raise money towards next year's event – will also be available on the High Street while a number of shops are set to open their doors to carnival goers.

This year's event has the theme of Movie Mania and visitors and locals are encouraged to dress up and join the parade along the High Street which starts at 1pm.

Mrs Clayton said: 'It can be anything from Marilyn Monroe to your favourite cartoon character. We do get an awful lot of children come along in fancy dress – the schools and play groups really made a big effort with their children every year – so we want to make it as easy as possible for them to join in.'

Leading the parade will be the newly-crowned Carnival Princess and her attendants who will be chosen this week. They will all be youngsters from the local junior schools and will be carried through the town in a horse-drawn carriage.

For more information contact Steve Jolly on 07729 333002 or Cheryl Clayton on 01953 882260.

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