I know I moan a lot, but one of the things that has disappointed me in the past couple of years has been the Gloucester Carnival. This could have been because I have had a fair bit of experience of being involved with Silloth Carnival when I was younger or just the fact that I found the Gloucester Carnival really good in the park, but very uninspirational in terms of a procession. because of this, when Paul James, Leader of Gloucester City Council, made a public statement in essence as a challenge to those who criticised to get involved with it this year, I really couldn’t resist.
Having been involved for the past couple of months, the group leading it has grown from a few sat round a table to over 15 at the meeting last week. What is really great is that is that it’s not just the usual suspects, but many groups have got involved, and also local businesses
as well as a couple of councillors like Tarren Randle. It is chaired by Paul James but really is an “open to any ideas” session.
Some of the changes we have already agreed upon is to make the procession at the start rather than at the end of the day, and then making it start from elsewhere and then end at Gloucester Park, the logic being that you line the streets to watch the parade, then follow into the park to enjoy the rest of the entertainment. Having it at the end, when the parade left, many people just went home.
Also, we are really encouraging everyone to get involved, it is a carnival for everyone, and it is as much fun to be in the parade as watch it, so we want to really push groups and organisations to highlight themselves and contribute to the parade by joining in.
For me, a key thing is the businesses getting involved too. It is a great method of advertising, and getting involved with our community, so we will be encouraging businesses to either take out a sponsorship pack (at very reasonable rates) and/or get involved directly with one of your community groups and give them some cash (or things in kind) to help them put on a fantastic display.
So, its early days, with a lot to do. And for all those who say that the Carnival is rubbish the message is quite simple, to make it better, get involved. Think about how you could make a float or a walking entry. Could you encourage your local pub to g sponsor a few of you, or you employer? It will be as good as we, as a community, makes it!