Organisers of Buxton Carnival 'full of hope' 2021 event will go ahead

Planning for one of Buxton’s biggest annual events is forging ahead with organisers hopeful that this year's carnival and well dressing can take place in July.

Friday, 5th March 2021, 7:00 am

The organisers behind the hugely popular annual event have set some dates in the calendar for the festival to return from July 4 with the Blessing of the Wells, followed by the funfair on the Market Place for a week starting on July 7 with the carnival taking place on Saturday, July 10.

Coronavirus restrictions meant that in April last year, it was announced the 2020 carnival was being cancelled, but as the government is looking to remove all social restrictions by June 21 this year, the team behind the carnival are hopeful it can return.

Buxton Carnival parade in 2019

Committee chairman Richard Lower said: “We are full of hope the carnival will be able to go ahead.

“Currently the council cannot give us approval as they are following the government guidelines and don’t know if things are going to change but we are being positive and have put a date in place to get the ball rolling and are hoping for provisional approval subject to being allowed to.

"What we don’t want is for all the Covid restrictions to be lifted and then there be nothing organised and nothing to look forward to after a year of lockdowns and cancelled events and missed celebrations so we decided to plough on and get started.”

The carnival costs around £16,000 each year to organise and marshall correctly so the committee say they are hedging their bets and hopeful it will go ahead so they can look at getting sponsors to help cover finance. The carnival day bucket collection is also a big part of covering the costs.

Buxton's Well Dressing queen and her retinue during the 2019 Buxton Carnival parade

Richard said: “We have the dates but from April we will be taking the next step with our organisation.

"We have already made some contact with the marching bands who feature in the carnival’s parade most years and they are keen to get involved and start playing to crowds.

"After a difficult and tough year for everyone we understand that being in a big crowd after spending a year locked away and being told to stay away from big crowds may not be everyone’s idea of a good time but for others it will be a chance to see friends and family again and to bring back some normality.”

Buxton Carnival is one of the later such events in the High Peak calendar meaning Hayfield, Whaley Bridge, Chapel and New Mills may have to be cancelled for a second year.

Richard explained: “We also understand that maybe only some of our events will be able to go ahead like the Well Dressing but we are being hopeful.

"We thought about moving it to later in the year but there are still other carnivals like Eyam to go ahead and we didn’t want to clash.”

He added: “This will be just what the town needs and will bring the buzz back to Buxton if we can go ahead.”