Carnival draws huge crowds and could break two records

THIS year’s Chobham Carnival could be a record breaker, for the money it raises for good causes and the number of people who attended during the day.

The organisers are hoping that the total available to be given to good causes will total more than £5,000, after a bank holiday Monday when around 6,000 people watched the procession and enjoyed the show.

Valley End Infant School was the overall winner of the Chobham Carnival procession, where its entry highlighted the perils of pollution in the oceans

Carnival association chairman Tim Elwin said he was staggered by the number of people who came to the annual event, which returned in full for the first time in two years.

“I’ve never seen so many people coming to the carnival in recent years,” said Tim. “The High Street was packed for the procession, which had an amazing turnout, and there were crowds in the recreation ground throughout the day.

Thousands of people crowding along High Street after the procession had passed through

“People were incredibly generous with their donations on the gate, with many putting five, 10 and 20 pound notes in our buckets and most several pound coins. We also noticed more people than usual gave money as they left this year.

“We think the attendance is a record for recent years, and was certainly more than the excellent attendance at the 2021 carnival, held in September, when we didn’t have a procession or a May ball.

“Last year, we made grants to charities and local organisations totalling just over £3,000. This year it is likely to be a lot more than that.”

Tim said the grants fund was boosted by the proceeds of the May ball on Saturday evening. The raffle and silent auction alone brought in more than £2,000, more than when the event was last held, in 2019.

Riders from Xtreme BMX soared higher and higher to thrill the spectators during their performances

The organisers were due to count the gate donations yesterday evening (Wednesday) and will know soon how much is in the grants pot, when expenses are deducted from the overall takings.

“The money we have to spend to stage the carnival increases every year, from booking the arena performers to hiring toilets and paying for insurances,” said Tim. “But the money we make in donations and sponsorship and from the ball activities is still enabling us to give very worthwhile amounts to our community.”

See the 5 May edition of the News & Mail for a two-page picture spread of the event – in shops now

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