Countdown to Beccles carnival
Victoria NichollsWith just over two weeks to go, the final preparations are being made to this year's new-look Beccles Carnival weekend. Limited funds and poor attendance in recent years led organisers to redesign the 2009 event, with a two-day festival replacing the traditional three-day carnival.Victoria Nicholls
With just over two weeks to go, the final preparations are being made to this year's new-look Beccles Carnival weekend.
Limited funds and poor attendance in recent years led organisers to redesign the 2009 event, with a two-day festival replacing the traditional three-day carnival.
They also pushed the date of the event back a month to the August bank holiday weekend after it clashed in previous years with other large festivals in the area.
Beccles Carnival Parade and Family Fun Weekend will take place on Saturday and Sunday, August 29 and 30, from 2pm to 6pm.
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Now the organising committee says time is running out for people wanting to take part in the main procession, and the team challenge, which is new to the carnival.
Taking place on the Saturday, the team challenge will see teams of five people aged over 18 battling it out in an obstacle race, with the winners picking up a trophy and case of lager, while children can enter the fun afternoon fancy dress competition.
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The highlight of the weekend, Sunday's carnival parade, will leave from Rainbow car park at 1pm, with floats, dancing groups and vintage or classic cars bringing colour to the event. Organisers are hoping that the procession, which dates back to the pre-1900s, will attract a wide variety of entrants who will bring true carnival spirit to the weekend.
On Sunday there will be an afternoon of entertainment from 2pm until 6pm at Beccles Quay with fire-eating and trapeze displays, a performance from the Southwold & Reydon Corps of Drums, a dog agility group and a music roadshow.
Organisers made the decision to make entry to this year's carnival free of charge to boost support for the event in the current economic situation, although donations will be welcomed.
The future of the event had been put in doubt due to a lack of interest over recent years and a �3,000 debt that was standing after last year's carnival.
The traditional daytime entertainment such as the parade and teddy bear parade will go ahead as usual, while evening entertainment such as fireworks and live music were cut from the itinerary.
Anyone able to volunteer as a steward is asked to call Annette on 01502 715671. For more information visit www.becclescarnival.co.uk