Buxton Carnival needs your support

The Billerettes perform
The Billerettes perform

A rallying cry has been issued by Buxton Carnival organisers for people watching this year’s parade to dig deep and support the bucket collections.

The money from spectators’ donations keeps Derbyshire’s biggest carnival going, but in recent years the funds raised has almost halved while the carnival continues to grow.

Richard Lower, chairman of Buxton Well Dressing Festival, said: “The carnival is not in trouble, but we just want people to realise we are not funded by the council and it is their generous donations which keep us going.

“I have been with the carnival for ten years and we used to raise around £5,000 from the bucket collection, but last year we didn’t even raise £3,000.

“The carnival itself is growing and evolving which is great and there are more floats taking part than ever before, so people still want to be part of it and families still come out to watch it.

“However, without the donations it means we have to cut our cloth accordingly.”

Only last week it was announced there would be no military flyover on carnival day this year due to the rising insurance fees.

The cost of putting on the carnival every year is nearly £17,000, which includes the printing of promotional materials, insurance, fences and barriers, road cleaners and signage, as well as dressmaking for the queen, band hire and float storage.

Richard said: “The carnival has been such a part of Buxton’s history and heritage since 1840 and we want it to continue the celebration, but we can’t do it without you.

“We are supported with some grants, but if we aren’t getting enough money from donations we may have to make changes. So if we can’t afford the barriers in Spring Gardens we would have to look at rerouting the parade, which would be a shame.”

The carnival this year is on Saturday July 8, a highlight of the well dressing festival which runs during the first two weeks in July.

Barbara Howe, a member of the well dressing committee, said: “Carnival day is the biggest event Buxton has and attracts lots of people, but if we break the donations down it equates to 30p per person.

“If every adult who attended the parade would put a minimum of 50p in a collection bucket it would make such a difference.

“I know there are people who give much more and it is very appreciated.”

The festival has set up a Just Giving text service. Anyone who wants to donate can text 70070 quoting BWD16 and the amount they would like to donate to the carnival.