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Dereham Carnival cancelled indefinitely as 'no longer financially viable'

PUBLISHED: 09:58 31 October 2019 | UPDATED: 09:58 31 October 2019

Dereham Carnival Parade 2018.
Picture: Nick Butcher

Dereham Carnival Parade 2018. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2018

It is one of Dereham's biggest success stories of the past half decade.

Dereham Carnival Parade 2018.
Picture: Nick ButcherDereham Carnival Parade 2018. Picture: Nick Butcher

But despite the hugely successful revival of the town's carnival following its 22-year gap, organisers have today confirmed it's all over.

The event, which costs around £17,000 to put on, has struggled to raise enough money to proceed following changes to its funding and the inability to attract new volunteers and committee members.

A spokesperson for Dereham Carnival Committee confirmed the news via a press release.

It read: "It is with deep sadness that the Dereham Carnival Committee have announced that following their last committee meeting they have voted unanimously not to hold another carnival.

Dereham Carnival Parade 2018.
Picture: Nick ButcherDereham Carnival Parade 2018. Picture: Nick Butcher

"To put on a carnival with all the hidden expenses including medics, insurance, loo hire, equipment hire, advertising and banners, stage hire, road closures, website costs, printing, phone costs etc, needs funding of approximately £17,000 which is becoming harder to raise.

READ MORE: Ambitious proposals to transform revived carnival for special one-off event.

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"We are also finding that despite many appeals it impossible to find more committee members who can help with the organisation or volunteers.

"We have no longer got the support of the local businesses who have sponsored us in the past or the grant previously provided by Dereham Town Council. The stall holder's fees would have helped us raise money for our charity donations, but now have to help cover basic costs meaning no charity can benefit.

"Basically this free event for Dereham is no longer financially viable."

Dereham Young Farmers enjoying the town's Carnival Parade 2018.
Picture: Nick ButcherDereham Young Farmers enjoying the town's Carnival Parade 2018. Picture: Nick Butcher

Dereham Carnival made its return to the mid Norfolk market town back in 2016.

Since then, its been held three times, attracted more than 10,000 visitors every year, and has quickly become an established part of the town's social calendar.

This year, the event had a brief hiatus in order to respectfully commemorate Peace Day and to recharge and regroup before next year's anticipated Dereham Carnival 2020.

Hundreds of people turned out the mark Peace Day, which took place in July, with dozens more volunteers, reenactment actors, and residents from around the town.

Collections for next year's carnival took place during Peace Day and it was hoped then that an event would still go ahead.

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