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It’s Carnival time! Processions should be the ‘best for years’

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©David Chedgy Photography Frome Carnival Ambassadors

FROME has got Carnival fever! This hugely popular  annual event is set to return on Saturday 21st September, bringing together the entire Frome community. 

There are more entries than ever and  a fabulous ‘Carnival Mile – 365 miles for WHY’ kick-starting the day, leading the Children’s Procession.

This year local fundraiser, Rachel Clark, will be starting the afternoon procession, which, at exactly 1 mile long, qualifies as part of her challenge ‘365 miles for WHY’. Rachel has been running a mile a day since New Year’s day to raise funds and awareness for local cancer counselling charity WHY. This incredibly special “Carnival Mile”, will leave Rachel “just” 100 more miles to run! 

The Carnival committee and Rachel are inviting children (who must be accompanied by an adult) to join her in starting the afternoon Carnival procession by running or walking the route with her. Two children (one boy and one girl), who run the mile with Rachel, will be randomly selected to  join her later in the year by running the Bath Rugby mile. Anyone wishing to take part, is requested to meet Rachel by the bandstand, in Frome Victoria park at 1.30pm.  

Procession secretary Kevin Sivell stated he is “incredibly pleased to announce that we have received more entries from all categories, especially float entries – than in many years. We are so excited and cannot wait for our 2019 Carnival processions as they are set to be the best yet.”

There is still plenty of time to get involved, anyone can enter up to and including the day of Carnival. More information can be found on their Facebook page – Frome Carnival – or via www.frome.   carnival.org.uk.

The committee would be grateful to hear from anyone interested in volunteering.  They say, “There are numerous opportunities available, from shaking buckets, selling our fabulous re-usable LED lights, selling programmes to acting as a street marshall. Anyone interested in volunteering is urged to contact the committee via email info@ fromecarnival.org.uk or please message us on Facebook.

“Each year, the committee fund raise throughout the year to pay the costs associated with the event, in order that donations given on the day can be put back into the local community through its registered charity.  

“The Carnival charity has given thousands of pounds in donations in recent years – helping local people and organisations, including: Fair Frome – who have taken over a large amount of our charity work, Mencap, YMCA and Active & In Touch, who all received a cheque earlier this year for £1,125 and a further cheque for £500 was given to the Rode Scouts Group. The beneficiaries from the 2019 collection will be Fair Frome , YMCA Routes and Zero Nights. 

Carnival chairperson June Barnes urges the public to “help others by donating as much as you can into our collection buckets and collection float.  The more we raise in our collection, the more we can donate to these fabulous and worthy causes.  If you know of a local group, charity or organisation that you would like to put forward for consideration from next year’s 2020 street collection, please do get in touch.”

The committee said, “We are pleased  to announce that we will once again be selling our own reusable light up carnival toys.  These will be sold from three static stalls  located by the old Weaver site in the Butts, in the Market Place and also by the Vine Tree.  There will also be official carnival sellers walking the route in between these static pitches.  The public are kindly asked to only purchase toys from official Carnival sellers, who will be wearing Carnival volunteer hi-viz jackets. 

“Other events around Carnival time are:  

“Saturday 14th September – Frome Cheese Show – please seek out our stall and support us by sponsoring a duck in our Duck Race or giving yourself the chance to win some fabulous prizes by purchasing a raffle ticket.

“On Sunday 15th September, grab a team together for a charity quiz at the Mason’s Arms, Frome, starting at 7.30pm, or get your eyes down at the South Parade Club on Wednesday 18th September for the Carnival Bingo night, starting at 7.30pm, all to raise money for Frome Carnival.  

“Saturday 21st September – the Big Day! – Children’s Procession 2.30 pm from the Victoria Park (entries up until 1.45pm on the day).  Evening Procession 7pm from the Marston Trading Estate (entries up until 5.45pm on the day).

“Sunday 29th September – Frome Carnival Annual Duck Race – ducks will be on sale for just £1 each from 10am from outside the Cheese & Grain, then at 2.30pm 1,000 plastic ducks will be dropped into the River Frome from the Jenson Button Bridge.  The 1st, 2nd and 3rd ducks  across the finish line, which is near the Frome Rowing club will win their lucky owners £50, £25 and £10. 

“Our Spot in the window competition runs from 14th – 29th September – Each shop taking part will display a red dot and they will have hidden an object in their window  that they would not normally display.  You just need to spot that object.  Entry forms available from the shops taking part and from our website.  

“Don’t forget, the judging of the Frome Carnival best dressed window competition will take place during the week and will be judged by the Carnival ambassadors, with the winning shop receiving a trophy.

“We hope to see you all on the 21st and that you enjoy the show this year. Please support us to help others by putting whatever you can afford into the collection buckets and show your appreciation by cheering on the entries as they pass you by.

“We know that the public have missed the floats in recent years, and therefore the committee has made changes to its prize structure for the evening procession. Each entry will be judged in the usual way  and awarded certificates and associated trophies for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place.  However, instead of prize monies for those placed – all entries taking part will receive a generous appearance money award – the amount varying according to the class entered.” 

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