Traditional and century-old Wells Carnival hoping for another bumper year

Scenes from the 2016 Wells Carnival parade. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Scenes from the 2016 Wells Carnival parade. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Volunteers for one of East Anglia's longest running traditional carnivals are looking forward to another bumper year.

Wells Carnival, which has been running for more than 100 years and includes a colourful parade, live music, workshops, a crabbing competition and raft race, runs throughout the town from July 28 until August 6.

The event attracted a record 25,000 people last year and organisers are hoping to beat that this summer.

They are also calling for extra volunteers and businesses to help out during the nine-day event.

Pat Weston, carnival chairman for 20 years, said: 'The carnival has managed to grow and keep going when other seaside town carnivals have not. The forecast for this year is good and we are excited about it.

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'The Wells Carnival is one of the main events in Norfolk. We are the only place doing a continuous nine-day carnival and possibly the biggest coastal community carnival in the country.'

He put its success down to the enduring support from Wells residents and businesses as well as visitors.

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Mr Weston added: 'We try to involve most of the town and put on events that appeal to all ages.

'Wells is a fantastic place to come to and adults who used to visit the carnival as children are coming back with their children.

'The carnival is also a great time for people who used to live in the town to meet old friends. It is a real social event and fantastic event and I'm very proud of it.'

Traditional carnival attractions will mostly be held on The Buttlands, Wells Town Football Club ground on Beach Road or in a marquee next to the Gordon Barrett Memorial Hall on Clubbs Lane.

The main carnival day is August 5 when hundreds of residents, town groups and businesses take part in a parade at 3pm from The Buttlands around Wells.

'People come from far and wide to watch the parade,' Mr Weston said.

He added the carnival boosted visitor numbers to the town for the rest of the year.

It is funded by takings from previous events and each year it donates thousands of pounds to local charities. In 2016 it gave away £10,000.

To get involved in the voluntary carnival committee email

Carnival highlights

For updates on events visit 28

7.30pm. Las Vegas night with Elvis. Carnival marquee next to Gordon Barrett Memorial Hall.

July 29

11.30am. Raft race. Quay.

July 30

2pm. Carnival queen crowning. Recreation field

July 31

2-4pm. Children's pirate party. The Buttlands.

August 1

11.30am-3pm. Mad science workshops. Carnival marquee.

August 2

3pm. Gillying crab competition. Quay.

August 3

10am-1.30pm. Craft workshops. Carnival marquee.

Friday, August 4

8pm-11pm. Live music by the Wild Boys. The Buttlands.

August 5

3pm. Carnival parade. The Buttlands.

August 6

6pm. RNLI lifeboat service. Quay.

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