Appeal is launched to boost Whitley Bay Town Carnival

Whitley Bay Carnival producer Carol Alevroyianni with board member Rev Alan Dickinson and community involement coordinator Sarah Sutton.
 Picture by Jane Coltman

Whitley Bay Carnival producer Carol Alevroyianni with board member Rev Alan Dickinson and community involement coordinator Sarah Sutton. Picture by Jane Coltman

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An appeal has been launched to help bring extra ‘wow’ to an ever-growing showcase.

Residents and businesses are being asked to dig deep to help raise funds for the Whitley Bay Carnival.

Tens of thousands of people have flocked to the previous town carnivals, with organisers confirming the popular event will be returning this year.

But organisers have launched a campaign to help raise £12,000 to meet the costs required to fill the gap of last year’s grants which are unavailable this time round.

The carnival, which this year will be themed on all things wild, will take place over the second bank holiday weekend in May.

It will kick off with a ticketed grand Carnival Ball on Friday, May 26, featuring The Baghdaddies,.

Then the following day there will be a walking parade with beautifully crafted structures and extravagant costumes through the town’s streets, culminating with live music, crafts, street theatre, food and family fun at the Spanish City Plaza.

This year, the carnival parade has been rerouted so that it takes in Park View, where it is expected that thousands of people will line the streets.

Whitley Bay Big Local has renewed its support for the carnival and North Tyneside Council will manage the necessary road closures.

However this year, organisers are hoping that residents and local businesses will also throw their weight and their money behind the weekend-long community carnival.

A fund-raising page has been set up on Just Giving – www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/whitleybay-carnival – to try to raise an additional £12,000 from businesses and residents alike.

Carol Alevroyianni, carnival producer said: “In three short years the Whitley Bay town carnival has become a hugely popular event which the community has really got behind.

“Last year, thanks to additional funding from The Arts Council, the carnival was not only a spectacular event featuring a wide range of professional acts, but we were able to really reach out in to the community and touch people who might not normally get involved in such an event.

“This year we have significantly less funding, but people and local business have already come forward to volunteer their time and resources as they really believe in the carnival. We need more volunteers; people to help make costumes, take part in the band and help manage the parade.”

She added: “But there are no two ways about it, we need your money too.

“We are aiming to raise £12,000 so that we can produce a carnival to rival any other.

“If every one of the 12,000 people who attended last year’s carnival donated only £1 we would meet our ambitious target!”

The money raised will meet the costs of community workshops and will secure professional street performers and the donations will be managed through Whitley Bay Big Local as a registered charitable trust.

Businesses looking to make larger donation can come on board as event sponsors and should contact Carol at calevroyianni@aol.com for more information.

More information is available at Whitley Bay Community Carnival Facebook group.