Tadcaster Carnival 2015
Pick up a copy of the Tadcaster Carnival Programme today and you could be a winner!
The 32-page programme went on sale this week packed with information about this year’s event, which will take place on Sunday 19 July and 104.7 Minster FM will be there too.
With discount vouchers from local businesses, editorials and features on organisations in the town, this year’s programme also offers readers a chance to win a star prize – dinner for two and overnight accommodation at the 4* Hazlewood Castle Hotel.
The committee has pulled out all the stops to make sure that the fourth annual Carnival has something for everyone. With a fabulous line-up of local musical talent on the Martin House Stage, Arena events, including a Falconry display, stalls, Leeds Pipe Band and all the fun of the fair, the evening entertainment will feature not one, but two fabulous bands, Tom Rocks And The Replicants and Boomin.
“The Carnival is an incredibly rewarding thing to be involved in within the community and the time, effort and money which goes into it each year never fails to amaze me,” said Tadcaster Carnival Committee member Kirsty Perkins. “Most of the people on the Committee have the fondest memories of Tadcaster Carnival from years gone by and to see wonderful new memories created each year makes all the hard work totally worthwhile,” she added.
Carnival day will start in traditional style with the Tadcaster Town Council Carnival Parade, which leaves Ripon Farm Services at noon, processing through Tadcaster and ending at Magnets Sports & Social Club. At 1pm there will be the presentation of prizes to the Best Float and also to the 2015 Carnival Cover Competition and Poster winners, Jessica Rooke from Tadcaster East School and Laura Gaines of Tadcaster Grammar School. The girls will each receive a monetary prize from Nick Devine of Devine Meats who has sponsored that competition this year.
Bars will remain open and food will be served until late and the day’s event will conclude with a grand Firework Display, rounding off a perfect day in spectacular style.
Pre-purchased programmes at £2 each will admit a family of up to four people to the Carnival on the gate, but on the day entrance is £1 per person. Programmes are available from local businesses and outlets in the town, including Bridge Street News, the Chocolate Box on Kirkgate, Ward’s Butchers, Calcaria Carpets, Allen’s, Devine Meats, The Granary and Magnets Sports & Social Club and they will also be sold during the Parade on the day.
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Well-known Tadcaster resident and Councillor, Richard Sweeting (Pictured) was only seven years old when, dressed as a shepherd, he took part in the first Tadcaster Carnival in 1975.
Richard Sweeting Tadcaster Carnival Cup
Whilst there had been a Carnival in 1953 for the Coronation year, it had been a one-off and never carried on. However, the Carnival proper started in 1975 and Richard has fond memories of a time gone by and a huge part of his childhood growing up in Tadcaster.
“It was definitely 1975 as it was the early years of Tadcaster Town Council,” said Richard. “As councillors they probably decided to do something for the people of Tadcaster, involved different organisations, a committee was formed and hey presto the Carnival was born,” he said.
The first Carnival took place at Toulston at the polo ground and a procession went all round the estates, up round Fir Tree Crescent and round Woodlands. In 1979-80 the Carnival venue was changed to Tadcaster Albion Football ground for a few years and the latter couple of years took place in Castle Hill grounds. Richard seems to think that the last one was held in 1989 and definitely not since he has been a Councillor from 1991.
“The Carnival in the early years was absolutely fantastic and we had some wonderful times,” said Richard. “It wasn’t just about the Carnival day itself. In times gone by there was a Church Service before and after the Carnival, pubs used to host domino knockouts and pub quizzes and the event catered for everyone. In 1977 for the Silver Jubilee there must have been more than 60 floats. The community spirit in those days was so alive, but I know that times change and communities aren’t what they used to be and we all know that,” he added.
During a chance meeting in 2011 with Richard Rooke of Rooke’s Transport, Richard told him that he was thinking of doing something big for the Diamond Jubilee and had an idea to reinstate the Carnival. He asked Mr Rooke if he thought it was feasible and he said he was sure it was. Shortly afterwards Richard had another chance meeting, this time with Linda Poskitt and told her what he had in mind. Richard knew Linda and her daughters Zoe and Kirsty well from their involvement in the past with the Carnival and they all wanted to come on board and get involved, because they too thought it was a wonderful idea.
Because Richard was involved in the Golden Jubilee and VE Day anniversary celebrations for the town, he really wanted the Diamond Jubilee to be something the people of Tadcaster would remember. “Thinking of all the memories of what we did when we were kids, I wanted the younger generation to see what we saw and what we grew up with in Tadcaster and I wanted to get the community spirit back, which I think we did that Diamond Jubilee year,” said Richard.
As a Councillor and Chairman of the Publicity Committee, Richard was given the task by the Town Council to form a Diamond Jubilee committee. He had plenty of contacts, being involved on the Seniors Treat committee for 21 years, a member of Tadcaster Church since childhood and because he says that “people trusted in me”. “We wrote to as many organisations as we could and asked everyone to come to a meeting to see if we could do something to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee. “That’s how we did it and the rest is history,” said Richard.
Richard admits he is old fashioned, but a big believer in community life and he wanted the youngsters in Tadcaster to have a taste of what he had so enjoyed for all those years. “I sowed the seed for that Diamond Jubilee year, but I did nothing,” said Richard modestly. “Everyone else made it happen and helped to make my dream a reality,” he said.
The Carnival Committee thought it would be a one-off, but it was decided to carry on, because the event had been such a success.
“Tadcaster is a special place and the Carnival brings people into the town and I will support it as long as it continues, but it takes a lot of hard work and dedication and committee members pull out all the stops to make sure that the Carnival takes place,” he stressed.
Richard’s vision for the future of the Carnival is that he wants it to continue and survive for future generations. However, it relies on volunteers to make it happen, so if you have even a few hours to spare and would like to get involved to “keep the show on the road”, please speak to a Committee member.
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