Roll up! Roll up! Honiton and District Carnival Committee is ready to pull out all the stops to ensure this year’s events are ones to remember.
Culminating in the grand procession, the week kicks off on Saturday, October 19 with the traditional table top sale at 9am and the official crowning of this year’s Carnival Royalty at 11am – both in the Mackarness Hall. There’s still time to book a table for the sale – call Karen on 07951 438598 to secure your place.
A Quiz Night will be staged in The Beehive on Sunday, October 20 at 7pm. Teams of up to six are invited to enter – £2 per person with a £50 cash first prize.
A Meat Bingo will be held on Wednesday, October 23 in the Mackarness Hall. Doors open at 7pm with ‘eyes down’ at 8pm.
All these events will be followed by the main event, the carnival procession, on Saturday, October 26, at 7.30pm.
Honiton will be the last carnival on the East Devon circuit, making it the big event not to be missed.
Organisers say: “The floats and walking entries are well warmed up and rehearsed so all we need now is a big crowd to applaud and admire them as they make their way up through the High Street.
“The entrants you will see have been working on their creations for the last 12 months to produce the colourful, illuminated entries that form the procession. There is a massive amount of work that goes into creating a carnival entry which is all done by volunteers who give up their spare time for the enjoyment of the crowds.
“Fund-raising also plays a huge part as operating costs for carnival clubs continue to rise. However, they are determined to keep the tradition of carnival alive in East Devon!”
Music, lights and entertainment
A carnival committee spokesperson added: “Honiton’s carnival promises to be a great evening of entertainment with music, lights and dancing all for free! All we ask is that you put any loose change, or notes (we’re not fussy!) in any of the collection buckets, or in the three official collection floats that will be at the start, middle and end of the procession.
“There is a competition for the Best Dressed Collector with a cash prize up for grabs. If you’d like to take part and be one of our official collectors just arrive at the Marshals Station at Ottery Moor Lane by 6.45pm in your costume, ready to pick up your official collection bucket and be judged.”
Any profit made from the collection is given back to good causes within the town.
Thousands of pounds have been given to local organisations and clubs over the last few years, including; Honiton Defibrillators, Honiton’s Admiral Nurse, FORCE, Freewheelers, Teenage Cancer Trust, Honiton Rugby Club, Honiton Hornets Hockey Club, Honiton Scouts, Honiton Brownies, Honiton Twirlstars to name but a few.
The committee says it is always happy to receive requests for recipients of donations which are decided in March of the following year.
This year’s procession will be led out, as always, by the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue vehicle so look out for the flashing blue lights and you’ll know the Carnival is on it’s way. We’re looking forward to seeing the Samba Band who will get everyone in the carnival mood. Following them will be the Honiton Twirlstars, The Mayor’s party and the Honiton Royalty float.
The Devon Truck Show will be collecting for a children’s cancer charity again. These exciting, decorated trucks can be quite noisy so appropriate ear protectors may be needed by some, particularly the very young spectators.
Majorette troupes welcome at Honiton Carnival
As well as local floats, and those from further away, dispersed with colourful walking entries, local majorette troupes will be joining in the procession. These troupes practice all year round and bring music and well-rehearsed routines, along with the spirit of carnival, to the procession. It’s not too late to enter the carnival, so if you would like an entry form contact the committee.
This year’s procession will be lining up along one side of Ottery Moor Lane and set off at 7.30pm prompt. It will then move along the High Street and finish just before the Monkton Road roundabout. Road closures and diversions will be in force from 7pm and the no parking restrictions in the High Street start at 4pm. All roads should reopen by 9.30pm at the latest. While every effort is made to limit the disruption caused, the committee apologies for the inconvenience this does cause. Should anyone have any queries regarding the road closures, get in touch with carnival organisers.
Honiton Carnival sponsors
The carnival committee would like to thank Land Rover Experience, of Awliscombe, for the use of their vehicles, and Martin Summers, of Kanes Storage, and Francis Martin. It says, without their help ‘we would not be able to have a royalty float to represent us on the East Devon Circuit’.
Sponsors, so far, this year:
Duralife Windows; House of Hair; Beauty by Bev; Honiton Carpets; To and Fro; MKM Building Supplies; Paul Richards Motors; E. A. Dodd & Son; East Devon Garden Care; R. T. Delve; J. R. Layzell & Sons; Betteridge Beds’ Ali’s Kebabs; Thomas Westcott; Honiton Garage; Chippy Joe’s.