Fakenham carnival procession under threat

Frustrated organisers of the Fakenham Fair said their dream of reviving the town's carnival parade after 20 years could be in danger due to public apathy.

Community group Kick Start Fakenham is planning the procession as part of the second annual fair, which will be centred around Millennium Park on August 27.

The idea of recreating the colourful parades which used to bring the town centre to a standstill in the 1980s was part of the inspiration for the event, and many people had shown an interest in taking part.

But at a meeting last week, group chairman Jeremy Punchard said not a single confirmed entry had been received.

Mr Punchard, also the town mayor, said an eight-week notice was required to arrange a rolling road closure, and the expenses involved could not be justified unless the interest was proven.

He said unless prospective carnival-goers, whether on foot or float, returned a completed form before Kick Start's next meeting on Tuesday, the parade would have to be cancelled.

'It is really disappointing that people have not come forward,' he said. 'The procession is really important because it will drag people through the town and it's just such a fun and inclusive thing to do.

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'But it costs money to do a road closure and if there's only going to be half a dozen people it will not be worthwhile.

'It's no good sitting back and just enjoying these events – people need to start getting involved.'

Mr Punchard confirmed the fair would go ahead regardless of the parade, and hopes to build on the success of last year's event, which included trade stalls, sports sessions, and children's entertainment.

Entries for the parade can be made at the Sweets 'N' Things shop on Oak Street or via kickstartfakenham@hotmail.co.uk

chris.hill@archant.co.uk

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