Sheringham carnival plans launched

Carnival time at Sheringham this summer is being hailed as a time to unite and promote the town, its traders and tourism.

Changes to the long-running event by a new set of organisers include scrapping all outsider street caterers in the town centre so it does not undermine local food businesses, and switching the parade day to Sunday so more traders can get involved.

Chairman Stuart McLean told a packed launch event the key aims included working together to promote the town and the surrounding villages.

Referring to controversy over rival supermarket plans which had shown Sheringham in a 'bad light' he said: 'There has been a split in recent years, but we need cohesion at carnival time.'

The week was focused on getting traders, families and children involved - both in the town but outlying communities such as Beeston Regis and Sheringham.

Eighty per cent of the programme between July 29 and August 7 would be the same as previous years, but the parade day had been moved to Sunday due to feedback from traders, and the police, said Mr Mclean.

It was hoped it would enable more local shops to join the procession by shutting early.

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The ban on non local street caterers in the town centre was also responding to local opinions, and aimed at supporting local retailers.

Wednesday evening would see the expansion of town races which were reintroduced last year.

Saturday would be a family-orientated fun day at Cookies field.

After Sunday's parade - on a route shortened to make it easier for the young and elderly - there would be a glowstick procession to Cookies field for fireworks.

The carnival committee took over the event in response to a mass resignation of former officials for a variety of reasons, and had turned it from being a 'sinking ship' to something that was 'sailing along nicely.'

But it was now seeking more community help for this and future years. As well as more sponsorship, donations, and involvement for this summer - including someone who could organise a five-a-side football tournament - it was also seeking ideas for 2012.

'We need people to be 100pc behind us' said Mr McLean.

Carnival diary dates

The search for a new carnival queen takes place at the Tyneside Club on Friday April 15 at 7.30pm for 8pm. All entrants must be 16 by May 1 2011, live without three miles of Sheringham parish church, and be available for carnival duties between July 29 and August 7. It is also hoped to welcome former carnival queens to the event.

A competition for youngsters to design a carnival mascot closes at Easter.

A midsummer ball is being held at Pinewoods on June 18, with live music from Chibber. Tickets for the black tie event are �25.

Artist Martin Sexton is doing a watercolour demonstration at the parish church on July 19 7.30pm.

Contact 01263 823546, email paulapopham@aol.com or visit www.sheringhamcarnival.com for details and entry forms.