Carnival plans for a September event

CHOBHAM’S biggest community event, the village carnival, is planned to go ahead this year – but in early September instead of being held as usual on the May Day bank holiday.

The village’s autumn music and arts festival is also being scheduled to take place again, possibly with a reduced programme.

Guido Louis, a stunt rider trained by Cossacks, thrills the crowd with his arena display at the 2019 Chobham Carnival

Both events were cancelled last year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Their organisers stress that they can go ahead for 2021 only if permitted under COVID-19 guidelines.

Chobham Carnival – which attracts more than 5,000 people to the village on the first Monday in May – has been tentatively arranged for Sunday 5 September. This year, it will not include a procession and the fete in the recreation ground is likely to be scaled down.

“It’s still at an early stage, but we are aiming to go ahead with an event that people will come to an enjoy,” said carnival association chairman Dave Took. “The carnival raises thousands of pounds for local organisations and it would be a shame for them to lose the fundraising opportunity for a second year.

“The fete will be similar to our usual offering with plenty of stalls, a beer tent, the fairground and, of course, the usual high-quality entertainment in the arena.”

He added that there would be no parade this year, as the association did not want to spend the money needed to organise road closures and traffic management. “Also, the parade entrants have to start work on their floats and costumes way in advance, and their efforts and expenditure might be wasted if we can’t, in the end, go ahead.”

“Our committee is now actively planning the carnival, contacting everyone who usually has a stall and booking the attractions. Updates will be on our website and Facebook page soon.”

For more on this story, see today’s edition of the Chobham News & Mail

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