Hatherleigh Carnival is back!

Eric Partridge

As everyone is no doubt all too aware, COVID-19 has not gone away; a fact that every single member of the Hatherleigh Carnival Committee has held in their minds through the many months of planning for this year’s Carnival on Saturday, 13th November.

Hatherleigh Carnival Committee would like to reassure the community of Hatherleigh and our visiting guests that while planning this year’s Carnival we have taken steps to reduce the risk of opportunities for close face-to-face interactions between attendees and avoid members of the public gathering indoors, which we hope will mitigate some of the potential risk involved and put people’s minds at ease.

We have made the difficult decision to suspend all judging for floats, walking guys, and all other entries in both the afternoon and evening processions. This removes the need to gather inside the Community Centre after the afternoon procession, and avoids unnecessary interaction. However, we are still keen to know who you think are the standout entrants in this year’s Carnival so we will be asking the audience to cast their vote via our Facebook page (more details below). Please note grants are still available for all entries.

We will still be offering refreshments for holders of the 2020 or 2021 Vice Presidents badges, however, this will be either outside of the Old Schools or inside The Square, so people do not need to gather inside the Old Schools. Pick yourself up a £1 badge to be in with a chance to win £50 cash; alternatively, our Vice President badges are available for £10, which enter you into a draw to win £50 cash plus a meal for two at The George Hotel in Hatherleigh. Badges are available to buy from your local friendly committee member both Hatherleigh pubs and the shops.

The eagle-eyed among you may notice that the £1 badges have ‘Hatherleigh Carnival 2020’ on them. In the theme of many big events of 2021, last year’s Carnival badges were saved as unused, so this year’s badges say 2020. After all, if it’s good enough for the Olympics and the Euros, it’s good enough for Hatherleigh! (Please note that this year’s £1 badges have all been stamped on the back. Any 2020 badges purchased last year will unfortunately not be valid for the prize draw this year.)

We will once again be holding our trio of non-tableaux decoration competitions over the Carnival weekend, the ‘Decorated Shop Windows’, ‘Decorated House’ and ‘Decorated Guy’ competitions. Please keep in mind you don’t need to live on the Carnival route to enter, nor do you need to decorate your entire house – even just a window is more than enough! To enter, please get in touch with Carnival Secretary Laura Barrs on 07814 838844 or redds22@googlemail.com. Our annual photo competition will once again be taking place from Carnival weekend onwards. Please email all photography entries to info@hatherleighcarnival.co.uk by the end of November for judging.

We are planning to run the Carnival weekend in the usual format, the full timetable will be included in the Carnival programme excellently put together by Linda King and Donna Lewis, but do expect the usual: Friday night sees the unlit barrels being dragged up through the town, followed by live music in the Square. First up is funk and soul band Electric Spank followed by The Fireblockers and DJ Steve. Saturday will see the 5:00am tar barrels, and then be host to the Town Crier Display, followed by the children’s procession (this is unjudged, but there will be a display held in the community centre car park); the main evening procession will of course be followed by the second tar barrel run, followed by live music from the Eat The Rich, DJ James Monkman, and headliners Lionstar. Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for street entertainers on Saturday night!

Refreshments will be provided in The Square with the Tar Barrel Committee running the infamous burger stand on both nights with all profits going toward the Tar Barrels. The Carnival will also be running a bar. We will be extremely dependent on volunteer support for this, so if you would be happy to donate some time to the bar, please contact Rupert on 07876746774. Although Kingswood Homes have generously permitted us to use areas of the Market Quarter estate for the floats to gather on the Saturday evening, a lack of destinations to burn the tar barrels has meant we have had to alter the route for the burning tar barrels this year.

The new route will begin at the top of Market Street, run down to the school via Market Street and Bridge Street, up South Street, down High Street, and back down Bridge Street past Island Park to the new burn site. We will publish a new map on social media showing the amended route, soon. We are once again putting out a plea for stewards for the weekend, especially with the new route for the barrels. If you are interested in volunteering as an all-too-crucial steward over Carnival weekend, please contact Carnival Secretary Cindy Squire on 01837 810969.

In place of the usual judging of floats and walking guys in the evening procession, we are looking to hold a digital vote for the Jacky Entwistle Cup, which will be awarded to the entry that the public believe has the most ‘visual impact’.

The link will be posted on our Facebook page during the procession, and visitors will be asked to vote for which entry they feel is the worthiest winner. Look out for their numbers!
We hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable Carnival weekend.

Local Life