High Peak carnivals set to return in style this summer

Optimism is mounting that the High Peak’s popular summer carnival programme can go ahead as normal this year after two years of lockdowns and social restrictions.

Friday, 21st January 2022, 5:12 pm

For many the carnival is a chance to come together with friends and family but the social restrictions which were in place meant it would have been impossible for large numbers of people to meet.

Now there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon and plans are being made for this year’s events.

Sean Whewell from Visit New Mills, which organises the New Mills carnival, said it will take place on Saturday, June 11.

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The famous Billerettes at Buxton Carnival.

He said: “There has been lots of sadness for lots of people so it is so nice to be saying we are putting on such a fun event which brings people together for a good time.”

This years theme for New Mills is superheroes and Sean said it was important to keep it as broad as possible.

He said: “We want people to interpret this however they want so if you want to do a float based around Superman great, but if you think our doctors and nurses have been superheroes in recent years then we’d love to see you dress up as them too.

“For us bringing in the school is a big part of what we do and there are children out there who may never have seen a carnival or if they did they were only small.

Tideswell Wakes carnival parade

“We are looking forward to working with the schools and bringing that joy of taking part in the parade to the youngsters who have missed out in recent years.

“We have a great community in New Mills and it’s always great to see the businesses take part in the window competitions and I’m really looking forward to everything that comes with the carnival. From the Billerettes to the funfair to the parade all of it has been missed so fingers crossed for some good New Mills weather!”

Buxton Well Dressing Festival did take place in a reduced capacity last year but there was no carnival.

This year however people can expect the usual two week event.

Committee chair Richard Lower said: “Saturday, July 9 – mark that date on your calendar because fingers crossed if nothing changes the carnival will be taking place then.

“The well dressing will take place beforehand and the fair is coming back too.”

The car park where those who run the fair stay has gone up for sale and Richard said he asked for a meeting with High Peak Borough Council to discuss what would happen but was told there was no need for a meeting this year as the land will still be available for them to use.

Richard said: “Organising the carnival is a big job. It takes months of planning and lots of volunteers beforehand and marshalls on the day to make it happen.

“Our last carnival was 2019 so I’m delighted to be back this year but since then people have either moved away or died so we could really do with some more volunteers.

“We know there is an appetite for people to come to the carnival but we would love it if you could spare a few hours to make it run as smoothly as possible.”

This year is a special anniversary for Chapel-en-le-Frith as the town event celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Chair Jeanette Saxby said: “It was meant to be our 50th consecutive year in 2020 but as the whole world got put on a standstill we’re just picking up the celebrations for this year instead.”The carnival will be taking place on June 18 with the procession starting at 1pm before arriving at Chapel leisure centre at 2pm.

Jeanette said: “We’ve already got people asking us if they can take part which is great.

“People are ready for normal now – they want something to look forward to and the carnival is always such a great day as everyone comes together.”

Last year Tideswell Wakes did go ahead but was adapted to meet the Covid restrictions in place at the time.

This year’s festivities will run from June 18 to June 26 with the carnival on June 25.

The committee is already looking for youngsters to take part in the Wakes Royalty and Retinue.

Positions are open from children as young as three to over 14s.

All entries need to be in by March 1. Anyone interested or who would like more information should email [email protected]

Last year the only carnival which went ahead was Bradwell’s in the Hope Valley and it will be back again in 2022.

Caroline Preston, clerk for Bradwell Parish Council said: “Our carnival is planned for Saturday July, 30.”

Bradwell Wakes Week will run after the carnival from Saturday July 30 to August 7.

Whaley Bridge Carnival Committee has not yet met to decide if the event will be going ahead this year.

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