Carnival axed and events under threat

Carnival axed & events under threat in Gillingham
It’s not just Christmas that The Grinch has stolen from Gillingham this year – the coronavirus pandemic has left the town without its annual colourful cavalcade this autumn.

Gillingham Carnival was due to be held on October 10. However now only one of its traditional events will be held – the Window Spotting Competition.

Several other events are also under threat, with the Christmas Festive Lighting event under review along with the annual Remembrance Parade in November.

The Gillingham Carnival website states: “Due to the ongoing threat of coronavirus the Carnival Committee has taken the difficult decision to cancel this year’s Carnival Processions, which were due to take place on Saturday 10th October.

“The committee believe this to be the right decision for the safety of carnival entrants and public alike. Large gatherings are unlikely to be safe to hold for the foreseeable future although we hope to be able to hold some of our smaller Carnival Week Events later in the year. However, this will be dependent on government guidance at the time.”

With the support of Gillingham Town businesses, the carnival committee is running the 2020 Window Spotting Competition from Sunday, October 4 until Sunday, October 11.
In a change to previous years, entry will be free, although donations will be gratefully received.
Entry forms will be available from next Friday, October 2 at Cullingford Carpets or at Oddities will appear in window displays from Sunday, October 4.

Entries to be returned to Cullingford Carpets by Thursday, October 15.
Cash Prizes: 1st £25 ~
2nd £15 ~ 3rd £10
Kindly sponsored by Cullingford Carpets. Meanwhile, doubts remain over the Christmas festive lighting event planned for Decembet 4 which boasts a magical parade through the town, a grotto and community merrymaking… Gillingham town councillors were told by mayor Barry Von Clemens the event is under review.

If the event did go ahead it would be a scaled-down version compared with previous years, with no road closure, parade or grotto.

The mayor told Gillingham Town Council’s general purpose committee that talks were currently taking place with Dorset Council’s Safety Advisory Group (SAG).

The annual Remembrance Day parade in November is also under review.Councillor Roger Weeks, who is also president of Gillingham Royal British Legion, cast his doubts over the likelihood of the annual parade taking place. However, he told the same meeting that he did not wish for Remembrance to go “unmarked”.

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