Richard Oliff: Carnivals light up life

Richard enjoys the community spirit on show at carnivals such as Wellingborough's
Richard enjoys the community spirit on show at carnivals such as Wellingborough's
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They happen at this time of year in almost every town in the country.

A carnival is another example of a way for everyone to come together for no apparent reason other than having a good old-fashioned family day out while at the same time supporting many a local and national charity.

The planning for a carnival begins almost as soon as the last one ends and is often the only time most people in a community get to see the various chains of office hanging around the necks of folk who head our councils.

Leaders of county, city, town and even village councils attend dressed in their Sunday best to decide upon such weighty matters as the next carnival queen and officially open the carnival from the stage of the local radio station.

Before all of that there is the procession of magnificent floats through the winding streets that lead to the main carnival site.

During the past 22 years I’ve been lucky to attend most of the carnivals associated with the areas in which I’d been broadcasting at any given time; mostly Corby, Kettering, Wellingborough, Northampton and Market Harborough.

And on each of these occasions there has never been anything other than a real and genuine sense of community.

I’ve found they also give one a great sense of belonging; these are “my people” and this is “my town”.

Companies too are involved. I know of one firm that provides most of the magnificent float vehicles, a task they have been committed to for years.

Charities collect our cash for their causes yet at the same time provide us with the myriad of stalls that keep those of us that have a need to spend a pound or two on a tombola entertained for years on end.

This world would be such a dull old place without the annual carnival.