Victim of its own success
5:30am Friday 4th April 2014 in By Dominic Gilbert
WROUGHTON will miss its annual sea of colour this year after organisers of the summer carnival have decided to pull the plug on the event.
Residents were left disappointed after the announcement on Wednesday that the committee would be taking a break from the event until 2015.
Kevin Maddison, of Wroughton, responded to the announcement by saying: “You are letting down so many people and children.
“There can be no excuse not to organise such an event, especially when you have the full backing from the whole community and businesses.”
Paul Hurst, former committee member for the Wroughton Carnival, said the event had got out of hand and there is a possiblity of a smaller fete to replace the carnival in 2014.
“To an extent the carnival has got too large,” he said. “We have had up to 5,000 people crowding into the field, and that means higher security costs and fencing.
“It is a real shame it will not be going ahead this year, but they simply did not get enough volunteers to do all the work that is needed beforehand.
“A number of people have been talking about whether we could do something else that may not take as much organisation.
“Someone put forward the idea that we should just have a fete and persuade pubs to get bands in, so we could sell tickets to people to go and see the bands they wanted.
“Looking on the bright side, this gives them a long time to organise next year. We might see if we can get something like the fete organised for this year, but that will need help from a lot of people and all the landlords.”
Paul Russell, chairman of the Wroughton Carnival committee, said it had been a very difficult decision to make, but reassured residents the carnival would return next year.
“We have decided to take a break after a difficult couple of years, but we do plan to return next year,” he said. “We thought it was the right thing to do.
“Getting sponsorship for the event is very difficult, and the weather two years ago nearly destroyed the carnival completely.
“We had the knock-on effect that we had arranged everything so we still had to pay for it.
“Quite a few things have nearly finished the carnival, and last year we only just managed to pull it around again.
“It was not a decision taken lightly. I understand people saying they are disappointed, because it is the highlight of the year. The intention is that this is just a year off, just to give us the chance to build everything up again.”
Paul plans to put more time into organising the 2015 carnival to ensure it is a success.
“We will be looking to reform the committee earlier this year in August,” he said.
“It is such a complex carnival that we did look at some other options, including doing a few smaller bits and pieces.
“The problem is the majority of people come for the whole day. Everyone puts in such an effort, and it was hard to break things up to do smaller parts.
“It is really hard work, not just to organise the village in preparation, but to get through all the red tape and dot all the i’s and cross the t’s.”
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