A hardworking team makes Honiton Carnival happen each year

PUBLISHED: 11:00 17 October 2018

Budleigh Salterton Carnival 2018. Picture: Alex Walton Photography

Budleigh Salterton Carnival 2018. Picture: Alex Walton Photography

Alex Walton

Honiton Carnival is the result of months of preparation by a dedicated team of volunteers.

Axminster Carnival 2018. Picture: Andrew ColeyAxminster Carnival 2018. Picture: Andrew Coley

For the crowds who line the streets at Honiton carnival, it is just one night of fun, excitement and entertainment.

But for one group of people, it is the culmination of months of work and planning – much of it unpaid.

As well as those involved in designing and decorating the floats, and creating fantastic costumes, there are the people dealing with routine organisational tasks and red tape, long before the carnival season begins.

Helen Turner, a spokesperson for the event, said: “There is a lot to be done beforehand. Our carnival secretary, Karen Wilson, is a superstar, as she deals with all the road closures and other admin that needs to be done. There is an ever-increasing number of permits and licences that are required by various statutory organisations. This puts extra pressure on the volunteers who give up their free time to put on the carnival, but there is also increased financial pressure, as the fees for permits and licences go up every year.”

Axminster Carnival 2018. Picture: Andrew ColeyAxminster Carnival 2018. Picture: Andrew Coley

For this reason, the carnival committee are indebted to the many local businesses who sponsor the event; without them it could not happen. They are also very grateful to Land Rover Experience, who lend out one of their vehicles every week of carnival season so that the Honiton Royalty float can be taken to all the towns on the circuit.

There is also an army of marshals and other volunteers who help out on the night, putting out no-parking cones and looking after the road closures.

Honiton Carnival is a huge team effort, bringing together local traders, community groups and the crowds of residents who cheer the floats on as they pass. And after the excitement of the procession and the bustle to get the roads reopened and the crowds dispersed, there will be one final journey along the carnival route to bring the event to a close.

Every year the carnival committee chairman Bill Austin walks the route himself, to make sure everything is packed away and cleared up ready for the following morning.

Axminster Carnival 2018. Picture: Andrew ColeyAxminster Carnival 2018. Picture: Andrew Coley

Honiton Carnival Committee would like to thank all the sponsors: Thomas Westcott, The Paper Shop, House of Hair, Leesons, Layzell & Sons, Peter Betteridge, Alan Rowe, The Volunteer, E A Dodd & Son, CMS Independence, Paul Richards Motors, Duralife Windows, MKM Building Supplies, Honiton Carpets, The Chippea, Beauty by Bev, East Devon Garden Care, Delves, To and Fro.

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