Join in Lowestoft Carnival parade fun this Sunday
A rallying call for the people of Lowestoft to get behind a new and exciting carnival parade went out today.
A full, traditional parade returns to the town for the first time in three years on Sunday with fun for everyone promised.
Lowestoft's Olympic boxing hero Anthony Ogogo will head the procession which organisers hope will be a massive success after last year's was cancelled and the 2010 event shortened.
There were fears that the 2012 parade would also have to be cancelled because of rising costs linked to road closures and changes to the traffic management rules governing street events – but the event was saved after winning support from the Gwen Baker Trust, Waveney District councillor Tod Sullivan and the Lowestoft Civic Society.
It will be back with a bang, with local celebrities, entertainment aplenty and fireworks for everyone to enjoy. Anthony Ogogo will salute the crowds and the 23-year-old bronze medallist said he was looking forward to it.
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He said: 'It will be great fun. The parade drives past my house and I remember years ago when I used to chuck pennies onto the floats.'
Together with 13 Olympic torchbearers, Anthony will be embracing the parade's Olympic and Diamond Jubilee theme. The torchbearers will have a Routemaster bus, donated by First, as their support float.
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The committee of the Friends of Lowestoft Hospital has been organising the annual procession through Lowestoft for more than 40 years, and carnival chairman Pat Rayner said that about 40 carnival entries had been received for what was set to be 'a really wonderful celebration.'
The parade entrants will assemble in Kirkley Park Road from 12.30pm. Judging will take place from 1pm to 1.45pm and the parade will move off at 2pm sharp. The sounds of four marching bands – the Ambassadors of Borrowash, the Suffolk Samba Band, the New Endeavour Rangers and the Harwich Royal British Legion Pipe Band – will help to lift the spirits as the parade wends its way on its regular route from Kirkley Park Road along London Road South, over the harbour bridge, past the railway station and ending in Katwijk Way at the Gordon Road roundabout.
To encourage even more spectators to turn out for the procession, Waveney District Council and partner Waveney Norse have agreed to give free parking on four of their town car parks – with the sites at Battery Green, The Britten Centre, Clapham Road and Clifton Road free from 1pm on Sunday.
There will be a carnival music event taking place in the town centre. With live music, dance, and family fun throughout the day from 11am to 5pm, the event is a joint collaboration between the council, Lowestoft Town Management Partnership, Soundwaves Entertainments and Lowestoft mayor Nick Webb, who will also be taking part in the parade.
A spectacular fireworks display will also be held at 9pm at South Pier.
Mrs Rayner said: 'The Friends of Lowestoft Hospital are very grateful to the Gwen Baker Trust and the Lowestoft Civic Society for their support and funding that helped to make this year's event happen. Also to the Gwen Baker Trust for funding the fireworks display.'
She added: 'I would especially like to thank the team from Eventguard for all their help and to the many people working behind the scenes, too numerous to mention individually, for all their hard work.'
Having played an important role in this year's parade, Tod Sullivan, leader of Waveney Labour Group and former Mayor of Lowestoft, said: 'I truly believed that a new and exciting event could emerge encompassing carnival traditions but also bringing in the town centre traders to create a fun and enjoyable event.
'I am so proud to have played a small part in pulling this together, I do encourage everyone in Lowestoft to come and celebrate the day and round off what has been an extraordinary summer and autumn of events.'
Organisers stressed this week that 'no-waiting' cones will be positioned along both sides of the London Road South section of the carnival route this Sunday, to ensure safe viewing by spectators and to provide space for emergency vehicles to pass, if needed.
Organisers say that the assistance of residents in moving their cars to different parking spaces is essential for the parade to be able to pass.
Programmes giving more information about the parade have been produced by Ryan Holt, managing director of Spark Creative.
Carnival regular, Roz Fallon from Walmer Road in Lowestoft, also sent out a call to the local townsfolk 'to turn out again to support a worthy cause,' with all proceeds from the carnival going to support Lowestoft Hospital.
? The annual Lowestoft Hospital fete will be held on Saturday, September 29, with a special Carnival charity auction night on October 25 at the Hotel Victoria.
Send your photographs of the carnival parade to the Lowestoft Journal by emailing them to tim.warner.@archant.co.uk