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Carnival set to fold

PUBLISHED: 18:39 24 October 2001 | UPDATED: 10:43 03 March 2010

ONE of Felixstowe's most popular annual events is set to fold - unless new organisers come forward by the end of the week.

Walton Carnival has had the fear of closure hanging over it since the summer when organisers' spirits were severely dampened by rain which wrecked the afternoon and sent people scurrying for home.

ONE of Felixstowe's most popular annual events is set to fold – unless new organisers come forward by the end of the week.

Walton Carnival has had the fear of closure hanging over it since the summer when organisers' spirits were severely dampened by rain which wrecked the afternoon and sent people scurrying for home.

Most of the committee has since resigned, leaving just two people left, and they say there is no way they can run it on their own.

Ironically, the carnival has always enjoyed good public support on the day – but like so many similar events around the region is finding enormous difficulty in getting people to help run it.

On Friday , it will hold what could be its last-ever event, its annual Spooky Doo Hallowe'en fancy dress disco at the Felixstowe Trades and Labour Club in Walton High Road at 7.30pm.

Committee treasurer Andrew Spraggons said: "That will also be the last occasion people have to save this carnival – if I don't hear from anyone by then or people don't come forward on the night it will have to fold.

"We will hold a meeting to wind it up, and choose charities and local good causes to which to donate the funds we have left.

"It will be an enormous shame and a great loss to the community, but it is almost impossible to get people to join anything these days. People just don't seem interested any more and they cannot be bothered."

Added to the apathy from the community, the rising costs of insurance cover were also hitting the event.

"Our public liability insurance goes up all the time and now every group on a float needs it, too, just in case something happens – it all adds to the problems and I know other events have suffered the same," added Mr Spraggons.

He emphasised that he did not wish to see the event fold, but a decision had to be made soon and people had to show they were committed to helping.

Walton Carnival began 11 years ago to foster greater community spirit in Walton, the fiercely independent northern part of Felixstowe which is much older than the resort and still regards itself as a separate village.

It has always comprised a parade of floats, carnival queens and majorettes, with a car boot sale and a wide variety of family entertainment on the field at Orwell High School.

Over the years it has raised cash for many good causes, including stranger danger notices at schools and the village sign.

This year's event though only had two floats and suffered problems including a lack of publicity in Walton and vandalism of equipment just the day before. The rain on the carnival day itself was the final straw.

Anyone who would like to get involved should contact Mr Spraggons on 01394 284847. He also has tickets for the Spooky Doo – £3 for adults and £2 children.

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