Poor support for illuminated carnival
by Graham Tutthill
Organisers of Dover’s illuminated carnival parade say they plan
to hold a similar event in 2013 despite the lack of support this
It was organised by Dover Carnival Association following the
success of last year’s event when chairman Louise Scott said she
would combine it with the Dickens Festival to make a weekend of
Last year’s procession was well received but it was a different
story this time with some sections of the main street almost
The programme included a Dickens Day at
Pencester Gardens on Saturday and the procession through the town
on Sunday evening.
The Dover Carnival Association court, a couple of singers, a
refreshment van and a fire engine were the only attractions who
turned up for the Dickens Day event and some streets were deserted
as the illuminated carnival procession made its way round the town
centre on Sunday evening.
But Mrs Scott and her daughter Grace who spent hours preparing
for the events, say that although the response was disappointing
they will go ahead with their plans for next year.
She said she was pleased with the turnout of carnival queens
from all over Kent and as far away as Essex for the procession.
The parade consisted of 12 queens floats, the Hawkinge Flyers
Majorettes, Sittingbourne Speedway and a representative from the
Western Heights Preservation Society.
But when the procession turned into Castle Street it was
virtually deserted, although there was a line of people in the
Market Square and customers outside the Eight Bells cheered the
floats on their way. But there was hardly anyone in the section of
Biggin Street leading to Pencester Road.
Although there was a good crowd near the Town Hall and more
people in High Street, parts of Maison Dieu Road were empty as the
procession made its way back to Russell Street car park.
To add insult to injury, the visiting queens were subjected to
the sight of a group of yobs shouting and swearing at a man who
they were trying to goad into a fight at the junction with
Pencester Road where some punches were thrown.
One or two girls tried to calm the youths down, but the
situation flared again when some of the youths’ friends sped to the
scene on their bikes to join in.
The carnival procession was led by Miss Dover Julie Fitzpatrick,
with princesses Frankie Limbrick, Leah Westwood and Sinitta
Dighton, Junior Court Lilith Precious, Teagen Dickenson and Shannon
Gaylor, May Queen Thalia Precious and Junior Guild Queen Honor
It was a particularly successful day for the
Sandwich carnival court (pictured left) who won a number of awards
including first place in the Princess Pairs and Junior Court
of the Day, and second in Junior Princess Pairs and in Tiny Queen
of Queens. Their float was highly commended.
Full story, and reaction from the police and the
district council in this week's Dover Mercury.
- Click here for more Deal, Dover and Sandwich news...
- Click here for more news from across the county...