'We hope we did our little town proud' - Carnival chair speaks out after cancellation
PUBLISHED: 10:48 05 November 2019 | UPDATED: 11:40 05 November 2019
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"It's been fantastic, thank you" - those are the final sentiments shared by the chairman of Dereham Carnival following the announcement that the event was over for good.
Kerry Doyle, who has been instrumental in the revival of the event following its 22-year gap, paid a heartfelt thank you to everyone who had been involved with the carnival since 2016.
With costs amounting to £17,000 to put it on, the decision was made not to proceed despite it attracting more than 10,000 people every year.
Miss Doyle, who posted on the Dereham Carnival website, said: "As reported recently we, as a committee, have decided we can no longer fund the predominantly free event that has been enjoyed by so many. With busy work and personal lives, the committee also weighed up the spare time we can all give to the organisation needed for such a large event. It was due to this we sadly came to the decision to disband.
"We took the opportunity this year to have a little bit of a rest; with some existing and new committee members holding the Peace Day celebrations, which was a tribute to a cause that has played a key role in previous carnival days.
"I personally wanted to take this opportunity to thank every single person that has turned out to support us, along with the businesses that have sponsored the carnival too. Without all of you, the idea would have remained just that. Local businesses stepped forward and offered the money that was fundamental to the event.
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"Over the years every member of the committee has given so much time, energy and passion to the carnival and its associated events. Whilst there were many in-depth discussions, debates, and votes, the aim was always to bring something special to our community.
"It would be impossible to name every person, group, and business who has helped make the carnival a success. So, if you have been a part of the event, sponsored or volunteered with us, please accept our sincerest thanks.
"In year one we had no clue how many people would turn out to support us; so when the parade took the turn into the Market Place in 2016 it hit us all just what a fantastic community we had. Those memories will stay with us all, so again thank you. Please continue to support local events, Dereham is a great town with a lot of people working hard to make it somewhere pleasant to live and work. Volunteering can be hard, there will be times when people can give lots and some times people can't give as much as they would like, and, as with all committees there will be differing views and disagreements; however there will also be friends, laughter, success, pride and a feeling that you have given something with the sole purpose of bringing happiness to other people's lives.
"As a collective, we are all extremely proud of the donations that have been made to local charities and good causes. Hopefully, those funds will continue to leave a positive impact on local people and the community, as after all that is what the carnival was all about.
"Whilst this decision is sad, we hope we did our little town proud."
The Dereham Carnival Committee chairman also thanked the members and Dereham's community, including volunteers and participants, who supported the venture.
You can read the statement in full here .