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TWO of Melksham’s biggest summer events have been cancelled.
This year’s Melksham Carnival has been called off due to lack of funds and not enough volunteers while the town’s music event, Party in the Park, which was due to take place in July, has also been cancelled due to a lack of volunteers.
Organisers of both events hope that they can go ahead next year.
Last year’s carnival, held in June, was the first one since the Covid-19 pandemic. But one of the organisers Beth Dark said, “We just haven’t got the funds available to do it this year and with things the way they are with the cost-of-living crisis, everything has gotten so expensive we really can’t afford to run it.
“Our basic running cost is £3,000. If we want to book any marching bands, this is an additional cost. We will be doing all we can this year to fundraise to make sure we can put the event on for 2024. We will be at as many community events as possible with our buckets.”
Party in the Park was due to be held on Saturday 15th July this year, and would have been the first one back after a three-year break due to the Covid pandemic.
But in a letter to Melksham Town Council, chairman of Party in the Park, Mark Stansby said, “It is with deep regret that I write to inform you that our organising committee has taken the difficult decision to cancel this year’s event.
“Like many voluntary groups we have struggled to recruit new members with the skills and the experience required to organise an event of this size. For those of us currently on the committee, we simply do not have the necessary resources to plan and to generate sufficient funding for the event to meet expectations.
“Our committee has held regular meetings since the end of the lockdown period and, moving forward, we will look to arrange some smaller events, such as the Monster Ball which returned last year at the Assembly Hall.
“We will also strive to fill the vacant positions within the team, as it remains our ambition to hold a revised, and possibly rebranded event, in the park in 2024.
“We know this announcement will disappoint many who have attended and supported our event over the years, but this is the correct decision under the present circumstances. We hope to announce more positive news in due course.”
Positions the group need to fill are; treasurer/finance officer; sponsorship and marketing officer; contract tendering officer; insurance administrator; publicity and event programme administrator.
The Melksham Carnival team will be at community events throughout this year to aid their fundraising, including; Melksham Hospital fete in May, the Coronation celebrations, the Christmas lights switch-on. The team will also be running the annual Easter trail, which will be held this year on Easter Sunday 9th April.
Last year’s carnival royalty will remain in place for another year, until new royalty is selected for 2024.
Beth Dark said, “If any businesses are able to help us, we would be extremely grateful for this support. It would mean so much. Fundraising from year to year is not necessarily the best way for us to keep it running because we may need to cancel again if we don’t have the funds. We would be so grateful for other sources of funding.”
Reassuring the community that this is not the end of Melksham Carnival Beth said, “Melksham people have been so supportive and brilliant. Every bit of stress we go through to put on this event is made worth it when we walk out and see everyone’s smiling faces. Many towns do not run carnivals any more, but we want to be a town that still does and we want to keep it going. We will be doing everything we can this year.”
For more information or information about sponsoring the event, contact Beth Dark via firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 07500 776 229.
Celebrations are being planned to mark the King’s coronation in June and the town’s popular Melksham Food and River Festival will take place on 2nd and 3rd September.
March 6, 2023 at 10:35 am
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