'An absolutely phenomenal effort': Community comes to rescue to save this year's Harborough Carnival

The event was hanging by a thread last week after their main sponsor dropped out at the last minute – costing them £10,000. But the community has rallied around the save the day.

By Red Williams
Tuesday, 10th May 2022, 11:36 am
Market Harborough Carnival is set to go ahead next month after roaring back from the brink.

Market Harborough Carnival is set to go ahead next month after roaring back from the brink.

The town’s all-action spectacular was hanging by a thread last week after their main sponsor dropped out at the last minute – costing them £10,000.

But the carnival’s volunteer organisers have worked flat out in a desperate bid to overcome the devastating late blow and plug the cash gap.

And a stream of local businesses and benefactors have come forward to get them over the line as Market Harborough gears up to celebrate the colourful extravaganza on Saturday June 11.

Today Paul Milligan, 39, chair of the carnival’s committee, told the Harborough Mail: “It is full steam ahead!“We have got to where we have to be and raised the money that we need.

“It’s been an absolutely phenomenal effort.

“People are telling us that they read the story in the Harborough Mail last week about our last-ditch battle to rescue the carnival,” said Paul, of Market Harborough.

“They are offering us pledges of £500 each while Harborough companies are also getting in touch.

“The public response across the district has been brilliant.

“We’d like to thank every single person who’s put their hands up and pitched in to get behind us.

“We will be naming individual sponsors as we go forward and staging an event in August or September to thank them all specially.

“We held a make or break committee meeting on Sunday night to decide what to do.

“And the mood was just so euphoric when we judged that we have raised enough money to do it,” said Paul, a merchandising controller.

“The carnival has been held in Market Harborough for over 100 years, so many people and children of all ages look forward to it.

“But it’s all systems go now.

“We’ve just got to cross the Ts and dot the Is as we close in.

“We are working so hard to put on a carnival that we’ll all love and that we all can be proud of.

“This will be the first show since 2019 because of the Covid pandemic – and three years is a long time to wait.

“So it’s vital that we manage to jump back into action this time around.”

But Paul and his hard-working carnival colleagues are still issuing a rousing call to arms.

“We are urgently looking for volunteer marshals and stewards.

“We need them to help out with road closures, taking money at the gates and that sort of thing,” said the carnival chief.

“We’d like about 100 – and certainly need a minimum of about 50.

“We’ll have a funfair at Symington’s Rec, live music all day, loads for kids to do, brilliant floats, it’ll be an amazing day for the whole of Market Harborough.”

“I’m having to take time off work now to make sure that we put on one of the best carnivals that we’ve ever staged.

“But I know for a fact that all the time and effort is going to be all worthwhile on the day as excitement really does start to mount.”

If you would like to volunteer to help out on the day please contact Paul on 07415 799383 or by email at: [email protected]