Little chance of revival for St Albans Carnival

PUBLISHED: 06:33 05 May 2014

St Albans Carnival 2004

St Albans Carnival 2004


Rumours of a resurrected St Albans Carnival have been dismissed as unfounded – and unnecessary – by a district councillor.

Social media sites have recently been abuzz with calls to revive the event.

The city hosted an August Bank Holiday carnival on and off from 1939 but the last was held in 2005.

In its heyday, the city hosted the second largest carnival in the country and all the organisation was carried out by St Albans Round Table.

The Herts Advertiser publicised calls for the event’s return in 2011 and 2012.

At that time, St Albans district council set up a special cross-party carnival working party to investigate whether floats, sequins and colourful costumes could return to the city in 2013.

But it found that there was, “limited appetite for such an event from residents and particularly potential partners”.

So, instead of a traditional carnival the group reported that members favoured a large street party event, which had proved popular in St Peter’s Street during local Diamond Jubilee celebrations in June 2012.

The council’s portfolio holder for community engagement Cllr Beric Read yesterday quashed any rumour of the carnival’s return.

He explained that, as previously publicised by both the council and this paper, that following cross-party examination of its possible resurrection, a street party had instead been successfully incorporated into Alban Weekend, held in June.

This is a host of events celebrating 2,000 years of the district’s heritage and includes a pilgrimage procession to mark the life of Saint Alban, and a themed street party in the city centre.

Planning is already well underway for this year’s Alban Weekend, with a street festival planned for Sunday, June 22.

The event will see the city come alive with street entertainment, music and theatre.

Cllr Read added: “We couldn’t get enough interest in a carnival, and so we decided to hold a street party instead as it was a more sensible option.

“Holding it as part of the Alban Weekend helped keep the focus on what makes St Albans a unique city, rather than having a generic carnival which is held elsewhere.And it complements other celebrations and events in St Albans such as the current film festival and the literary festival”

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Recently we, as a family (minus two of the kids), visited The Lodge RSPB reserve in Sandy, Bedfordshire. I had never been before, which is perhaps amiss of me as a birdwatcher as it is the headquarters of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds or RSPB and only 45 minutes drive from home.

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