Rotary Club announces plan to bring back Weymouth Carnival in 2020
There's new hope for the future of Weymouth Carnival amid serious concern that it was over for good.
Organisers of the carnival announced they were pulling out of the event due to a lack of money and support in an announcement on Tuesday.
The news sparked a shocked reaction from the local community, with hundreds of people lamenting the loss of the town's iconic event.
The carnival attracts thousands of people each year and has benefitted the local economy by millions of pounds since its inception before the Second World War. Previously run by local organisations, since 2013 the carnival has been run by an independent carnival committee.
However, new hope has been given after former organisers the Rotary Club of Weymouth announced yesterday that it is looking to partner with Weymouth BID to bring the event back in 2020.
It means however the town will be without a carnival this year – the first time if has been missed in modern times.
In a statement to the Echo, the club said: "Rotary has previous experience of this and has successfully organised three previous carnivals with great success.
"Clearly it is a huge job and there just is not the time to be able to get a credible event for this year and the financial obligations are equally huge, particularly when considering such features as the Red Arrows.
"So we are looking to partner with the Weymouth BID, for funding support to ensure that the carnival both survives and prospers."
The club's statement follows a Facebook post published on Tuesday by 2018 carnival chairman Stacey Andrew who wrote: "It is with great sadness that I announce Weymouth Carnival and Weymouth Carnival and Events Club has ceased trading.
"Although last year was a fantastic event we failed to raise enough funds to continue.
"We also have a distinct lack of volunteers... in the end only six of us worked extremely hard to put it on mostly to the cost of ourselves and our families.
"That said I would like to take time to thank everyone that helped for all your efforts and hard work."
Hundreds of people on social media reacted to the news with sadness.
One person wrote: “Dreadful news. We come every year and always stay carnival week.”
Another said: “Weymouth won’t be the same.”
Some seafront hoteliers had already reported high numbers of bookings for this year’s carnival which was due to take place on August 20 and 21.
A new carnival committee was established last year to organise the revamped August 2018 event.
However, in December the Echo reported that the future of Weymouth Carnival was in serious doubt as organisers were headed towards a financial crisis.
Traders came forward to allege they were owed money after last year’s event.
Nigel Willson, of Great British Airshows, organised the air display for the 2018 carnival and claims he is owed more than £14,000.
Source - Dorset Echo