By Dan Thompson
Margate Carnival organisers have announced they won’t be going ahead with this year’s August procession.
The 120-year-old tradition of Margate Carnival involvess around 60 local clubs, dance schools, and businesses join the procession from Palm Bay to Westbrook. Along the way, crowds of up 25,000 people congregate to watch. The whole event is organised by a small team of volunteers who fundraise each year to make the largest arts event in town happen.
With only a short period between the possible lifting of government Covid restrictions and the event, the team have decided it isn’t safe or practical to run this year’s event.
A spokesperson said: “The government’s post-lockdown plan simply does not allow sufficient time or preparation for our major event to take place in its usual format. We need to prioritise the safety of everyone involved which include the participants, volunteers, and the tens of thousands of people who attend and watch the parade.
“We do however bring some good news. Margate Carnival is now in the final planning stages to deliver a local project this summer with more details to follow shortly.”
The original Margate Carnival took the form of a week of events, with a carnival procession just one of the attractions. Over the years, the procession has become the carnival and it regularly attracts a crowd of 25,000 people.
It is hoped that some of the local clubs, groups and voluntary organisations that join the parade will be involved in the summer project. This event will also allow some groups who can’t take part in the usual three mile route to join in the carnival celebrations, too – making this the most accessible carnival yet.
Carnival chairman Jack Packman said: “Carnival is a celebration that brings together Margate’s diverse communities in a celebration of the soul and spirit of the place.
“Every year we bring together the local voluntary and community sector, the best independent businesses in the town, and great artists, makers and performers and we look forward to keeping that spirit alive ahead of a very special Margate Carnival in 2022.”
Margate Carnival will be keeping people informed via their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/margatecarnival