‘Tough’ decision to cancel Bridgnorth Carnival due to bad weather
Despite the bad weather hopefully coming to an end, Bridgnorth has suffered yet another blow as the town’s carnival has been postponed, with a replacement date yet to be decided.
Thousands of people were set to take to the streets and join the annual procession culminating in festival-like celebrations in Severn Park.
Instead, the town’s High Street will remain open and the park, which sits alongside the River Severn, will be empty but for the few ducks that reside there.
Lee Jakeman, was about to experience his first carnival in the town during his inaugural year in the role of town clerk.
He said it was disappointing to see the park in the waterlogged state it was, but it was a hard decision that needed to be made.
He added that although water levels may drop by Sunday, the council could not risk cancelling the carnival nearer the day and giving participants even less notice.
“Where the land appears to be dry the water table is high,” he said.
“It is extremely likely that the large vehicles associated with the fairground rides and other attractions will do some considerable damage to the ground.”
He added: “Furthermore, the stall holders will each arrive in vehicles, many with trailers, and they will add to the weight of traffic that has potential to churn up the ground.
"While the situation might improve more than anticipated over the course of the next few days, it was felt that coming to an early decision would be the right thing to do for traders, participants and entertainment providers.
“I appreciate that many people will have put much effort into preparing for the carnival and will be disappointed but trust that they will understand the reasons.”
A meeting of the Town Council events committee will be held before the end of next week to see if a suitable new date can be identified.
The popular carnival has been subject to speculation this year already, with the council looking for possible businesses, community groups and residents to help in organising the event, with the possibility of taking it over from the council completely in the future.
This year’s carnival was also set to be pushed back to a Sunday, rather than its more recent Saturday date.
Although traditionally the carnival was held on a Sunday, since its revival in 2013, after a near-20-year-absence, the decision was made through consultation with local community groups, schools and churches that a Saturday would be the best day to host it.
Since then, businesses in the town had raised concerns that footfall has been affected during carnival processions, and that having it take place on a Sunday once again would be better for all those involved and the town as a whole.