The surprise news that the McCall family has thrown in the towel and given up organising the Sheppey summer carnival parade after 17 years has shocked the Island. We look back at past successes and ponder on what went wrong.
Sheppey can trace the origins of its carnival back more than 100 years to 1918.
The First World War had just ended so Islanders organised a "grand procession" to celebrate the women who had been working while their men were fighting abroad.
Sheerness was a thriving military town with Army barracks, the Royal Navy Dockyard and an early RAF base at Eastchurch.
The parade on Saturday, August 31,was organised with military precision and was such a success the idea of an annual carnival was born.
It didn't take long for Navy sailors to come up with the idea of dressing up as Zulus to add "a bit of fun".
When the dockyard closed in the 1960s the stevedores took over and continued to terrify residents.
No one was safe on carnival day as the Zulus landed on Sheerness beach in a flotilla of boats to the ominous banging of a drum.
They held impromptu road blocks to wheedle money out of motorists and captured stray women to put in a giant cooking pot.
Holiday camp Warners, ferry firm Olau Line and bus company Maidstone and District could be relied on to provide magnificent floats.
Firms like Abbott Laboratories, Klippon and Canning Town Glass had the means and time to create something wonderful. Factories like Sheppey Shirt had their own carnival courts as did the holiday camps.
There were characters like 'Big' George Raymond who had a crowd of youngsters walking with him.
Entire neighbourhoods took part. Invicta Road had its own committee which collected money throughout the year for carnival costumes.
Church groups, Cubs, Brownies, Scouts and the Army, RAF and Sea Cadets all marched through the streets watched by proud parents and every carnival ended with a public dance at the Wheatsheaf or Borough hall, often with the Jack Whitnell band.
There was a week of events and shopkeepers dressed their windows. Programmes were sold with lucky numbers.
Carnival committees chaired by the likes of Rene Mussell, Paddy LeGrys and Charlie Barber had meetings with councillors. There was money to spend.
Then council cash dried up and bureaucracy reared its ugly head. Everyone had to be insured. Risk assessments had to be written. The fun was sucked out.
The last straw for many was when the Zulus, already under attack on social media for being "racist" because of their blacking up, were told they could no longer rattle collecting tins under the noses of drivers and had to wear hi-viz vests over their bare chests.
Many carnivals folded under the avalanche of new regulations and public apathy. Organising them has become a thankless task.
But the newly-formed Sheerness Town Council has invited volunteers to join forces to save Sheppey's parade.
* Do you think carnivals should be saved? Or they too old-fashioned for today?