December 8 2013 Latest news:
Saturday, August 24, 2013
Massive changes are being proposed for Felixstowe’s biggest annual event.
Organisers of the town’s carnival are preparing to move the celebrations to the seafront and to combine it with an air show.
For decades the traditional home of the event has been Langer Park, but while the procession attracts around 20,000 spectators, the two-day park entertainment draws only a few of these.
If the move is successful, then Undercliff Road West from the Spa Pavilion to Convalescent Hill would be closed to traffic and the funfair, music stages, stalls and sideshows would be held in the street with free admission for all.
Felixstowe Carnival chairman Nick Barber said an air show would also take place on the Sunday, along with the traditional fireworks, and there was potential for many other events to happen, too – such as tug of war, rafts races, and beach volleyball.
He said: “Only around a tenth of those who watch the procession actually then come along to Langer Park over the weekend.
“Using the seafront would put the carnival at the heart of the resort. We want it to be an event which raises money for charity – and we will still collect money during the procession – but we also want it to be an event for the town and that benefits the town.
“It will not just be around the Bent Hill area, but we would have stalls on the prom on the south side of the pier, and one of the two music stages in that area, too, so we use the whole of the seafront.”
Half of the costs involved in staging the entertainment at Langer Park – such as hiring fencing, lighting, generators, ticket booths – would be removed by moving it to the seafront.
Mr Barber said the aim would be to secure sponsorship ahead of the event, especially for the air show. The carnival will take place on July 26 and July 27.
He said: “We still need to talk to the local authorities about the proposed arrangements and licenses but we are very hopeful we can carry out these changes.”