Many High Peak carnivals cancelled for second year due to coronavirus

Carnivals are often one of the highlights of the summer for High Peak communities but the coronavirus pandemic means many will not be going ahead for a second year.

Friday, 30th April 2021, 9:28 am
Updated Friday, 30th April 2021, 9:29 am

With covid still very much a concern, organisers of many of our local carnivals feel they cannot safely deliver the usual large scale events, though they do hope to be able to provide smaller scale fun days.

One of the first events in the calendar is Hayfield May Queen

Organiser Adrian Lee said: "The May Queen usually kicks off the start of the summer and after expanding to a two-day event in 2019 with live music and food stalls on the Sunday we really wanted to come back with a bang after last year and be back to normal.

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Whaley Bridge Carnival Parade 2018

“We are the longest running carnival in the country and still put events on during the war so to have to cancel for a second year running is very disappointing but it’s the right thing to do."

Tideswell Wakes Week will still be taking place between June 19 and 26, but may not be offering the usual full programme.

Organiser Gillian White said: “We are currently expecting a limited program of local events adapted to meet the covid restrictions.

"This might include scarecrows, decorated clotheslines and house decorating around the village.

New Mills Carnival parade.

"We will be exploring options for a limited parade on carnival day and will make a decision about what is possible nearer the time.”

Tideswell Food Festival, which normally takes place on the Saturday before the first May Bank Holiday has been delayed, with a provisional date of September 11.

New Mills Carnival decided early in the year that a full scale carnival would not be possible even though the event is after social restrictions should have lifted in June.

Sean Whewell from the carnival committee said: “We can get crowds of up to 5,000 people if the weather is nice and we didn’t want to put bring so many people together so with a heavy heart we decided to call it off.

"There will still be the window decorating and this year’s theme is famous women so that could be anyone from a Disney princess to Marie Curie.

"We’d love all the shops, schools and businesses to get involved and later in August we will have our youth festival and community cinema returning which is going to be great.”

Tim Mourne from Whaley Bridge Carnival added: “Our carnival should have been June 30 so we felt we regrettably had to cancel for the second year running.

"We may be able to put on a small procession but it won’t be a carnival like you know from previous years.

"We are looking at putting on a family fun day with the pet show and have some rides up at Whaley Bowling Club but its not finalised yet.”

Buxton’s carnival and well dressing has also been postponed. Organisers said they are hopeful of putting on a smaller scale event later in the year, with the usual July dates being too soon after restrictions easing.

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