THE CARNIVAL is coming back to town this week – ending three years in which its fun and frolics were put on hold by covid.
This year’s theme is We Are The World and appropriately enough, Ukrainian refugees who have been welcomed to Tavistock will be taking part in the procession a week on Saturday.
The week starts this Sunday with a fun day in the park which will see the crowning of the carnival princess and her two attendants at 3pm.
With events throughout the week, including a pavement art competition, quizzes and a concert in the church, the return of Tavistock Carnival week is a sure sign that things are getting back to normal.
Steve Grummitt, press officer for organiser Tavistock Lions Club said: ‘We are delighted that we can run the carnival again.’
This year the theme is ‘We are The World’ and we hope to be very inclusive.
‘We understand that we will have some of our Ukrainian visitors joining in with the events throughout the week and in the procession on the Saturday, so it is great that they will be part of a Tavistock event.’
The week-long festivities get started this Sunday with a fun day in the Meadows, when Carnival Princess Lottie Gatcum, pictured right with her attendants Dibeh Alaoui and Lottie Hoskins, will be crowned.
‘We have got a lot going on through the week,’ said Steve.
‘We have the pavement artists’ competition on Tuesday, outside Superdrug which is a popular event for the youngsters, to write all over the pavements without being told off! Then on Tuesday evening we have a multimedia quiz run by one of our members in the Stannary Arms.
‘On Thursday we have Simon Dell giving a talk on Tavistock’s policing past in the Tavistock Guildhall. The heritage centre opens at 6.15pm and the talk starts at 7pm.And on Friday we have a skittles competition which we have got 10 local traders taking part at the Stannary Arms – some of the shops put in teams, Tavistock Beds and the King Street Bakery are among them.
‘Then we come to the Carnival Day which is on Saturday. Fingers crossed we will have good weather, but it goes ahead come rain or shine!’
Carnival Day itself, on Saturday, July 16, will see a Mardi Gras fun day in Bedford Square, with an event organised by Miss Ivy Events outside the Tavistock Guildhall, featuring street food and music and stalls.
‘This is in addition to the funfair in Bedford Square, which is a small funfair to include a helter skelter and a roundabout,’ added Steve.
The day also includes the first-ever Tavistock EcoFest.
As ever, the Tavistock Carnival culminates in the grand procession, which will see town organisations and groups large and small gather at Down Road in their costumes, ready to set off through the town at 6.30pm.
Everyone taking part is free to interpret the carnival’s theme of We Are The World only limited by their imagination, in the best tradition of the carnival spirit.
‘It is entirely up to the participants how they interpret the theme,’ said Steve. ‘It is always a surprise on the day of the event to see what people come in.
‘Some of the Ukrainian may be wearing national dress and it is great to take them taking part in the procession because it is great for them to get involved in the community and to try and forget what has happened to them.’