This weekend had so much entertainment in Gloucester, what with the Food Festival at the Quays and then the Gloucester Carnival parade and entertainment at the Park, as well as Quedgeley Dog Show. It proves that Gloucester can put on really great entertainment, so why do we seem to make some fundamental errors and sell ourselves short.
I really liked seeing the “Beach ” back in the Park as I think its a great idea for the kids (and some of us bigger kids) and the Zorbing balls in the pool looked great fun. I do like a carnival procession, I used to get involved in Silloth carnival when I was much younger (or rather my parents got me involved) and it was brilliant fun to take part and just a great day for the Town. I said it last year and again this year that Quedgeley and/or Kingsway should put a float in the carnival, so next year I think I will have to pull my finger out and see what we can do.
I was thinking of the experience that Silloth Carnival and how that is run compared to Gloucester and if one can learn anything from it and I think the big suggestion I would make, is that the Parade should be at the beginning and not the end of the day. In Silloth, the Parade starts at one end of town and goes through the streets to finish on the big green, where then all the other entertainment takes place. I think Gloucester should look at this, maybe the Parade starting in the Cathedral grounds at 1pm, and working through its route to end up at Gloucester Park. That means that people watch the street parade and then end up on the Park, rather than the Parade leaves the park and everyone then leaves, which is a shame because there is so much to see and do.
Oh, and for those who are thinking “where on earth is Silloth?” Silloth is where I am from originally, on the Solway Coast west of Carlisle. Built as a Victorian holiday venue, it has largely survived in this vein. Well worth a visit for a walk along the prom if your up in that part of the world.
I also liked the vintage cars being used to transport the City representatives (including Richard Graham, Paul James and Kate Haigh) which looked really cool. I thought that was a bit better than the London Bus, as (obviously) this isn’t London. But it is really good to see our elected representatives out there and doing their civic bit too.
I don’t want to be critical of the events themselves because it is obvious that so much hard work went into both events by the Council Staff, volunteers as well as everyone who made floats etc, but I do feel that the City Council could have planned things a bit better in terms of scheduling. To my mind, we could have had the Food Festival last weekend and the Carnival this weekend, in essence trying to spread the entertainment out and lengthen the summer entertainment. I know a lot of people who thought that they had to choose one or the other because it was too tiring to do both and really enjoy them. Given that Gloucester is pushing itself hard as a tourist venue, then we must try our scheduling a bit harder.
Oveall, a really big “well done” to everyone involved, a really great weekend, showing Gloucester at its best, but maybe someone needs to buy a calendar for the City Council Cabinet to encourage non-clashing events, and maybe even exhibit some joined up thinking!