St Albans Carnival plan replaced by street party

PUBLISHED: 18:56 11 November 2012

St Albans Carnival 2004

St Albans Carnival 2004

Archant

THE hoped-for revival of St Albans Carnival has been put on hold but party-goers should not hang up their costumes just yet.

As a result of this year’s well attended Diamond Jubilee street celebrations, St Albans district council is instead going to launch a huge city centre street party next year.

St Albans hosted a carnival on and off between 1939 and 2005.

Prompted by requests from residents and businesspeople, a cross-party group of councillors has been investigating whether it would be viable to resurrect the festival.

Cllr Martin Leach, chairman of the carnival task and finish group, said a compromise had been reached over the proposed reinstatement of the event, as a carnival was not considered feasible as yet.

Councillors were not sure whether the idea of floats and a major procession would prove popular.

So, instead, a themed street party will be held on Sunday, June 23, to put the city centre “back in focus”.

Cllr Leach said: “We want to celebrate living in St Albans. It won’t be a full-scale carnival, but we are building on the success of the Jubilee celebrations.

“Anecdotally, people were saying they wanted a similar event, so that is why we came to a compromise.

“We are holding a street party with a little procession. We are hopeful it will grow over time.”

Cllr Leach said it will be similar to the Jubilee street party in St Peter’s Street, with stalls, entertainment, funfair and children’s rides.

St Albans city centre has lacked its own unique community event since the carnival ended.

The event will have a historical St Albans theme, and is being held in partnership with the Abbey in June to tie in with the annual Albantide activities, which celebrate Britain’s first martyr.

It is hoped that thousands of people will attend the event, which will promote St Albans heritage.

Cllr Leach said: “We think it will be unique for St Albans. It’s a good start and I hope that it will eventually lead to a full-blown carnival being held here again.”

The council will run a competition at local schools, to encourage pupils to chose the name of the new 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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