This year’s ‘Best of British’ themed Penketh Carnival hopes to be the best ever with a fun packed day with something for everyone.
Beginning at 11 am on Saturday July 14th. This year’s Carnival promises to be a fantastic day with a parade of nearly 500 including unicorns, Bernese mountain dogs, Thelwall Morris men ,Cadets, 3 marching bands ,Great Sankey Samba band and even a ten foot boa constrictor. The event itself now boasts over 75 stalls, a double decker bus bar, exotic zoo, a circus workshop, donkeys, George Formby tribute ,tug of war, local bands, vintage dance group, plus a huge Funfair guarantee a fun packed day for everyone.
Warrington has always been blessed the great British tradition of local fetes and walks of witness , bringing families and communities together once a year.
The annual Penketh Carnival was an opportunity for local families to enjoy the funfair, and take part in the parade as a brownie, scout or nursery, and it helped shape childhood memories for many.
Despite the hard work on the part of the Community Association who ran the Carnival at the time severe budget cuts meant the event began to struggle and around the late 90’s early 2000 a decision was made for it to end
After 8 years without it a small team of 3 individuals decided that this needed to change. Allin and Linda Dirir with Chris Whitfield made a decision that this tradition was too precious to lose.
At the same time a mother of a young boy from Penketh had approached them to fundraise for medical treatment . It seemed a perfect opportunity to fundraise for this worthy cause and reinvigorate the tradition of old .
So, in 2008 they set to work on building up “something from nothing “. With no funding from Parish or Borough Council a small Carnival was delivered. All monies raised went to the little boy who needed his treatment in the US.
The event was small but a huge success.
As the years went on the event grew from strength to strength . A decision was made to keep the Carnival completely self-funding thereby avoiding the risk of the funding being withdrawn has had happened in the past.
Money was generated from pitch fees and raffles and would be used to fund entertainers and performers. For many years the Carnival ran at a loss and the team would often chip in from their own pockets to ensure it was viable .
Present co-organiser Leila Dirir commented “Many have noticed the carnival is free to enter. This has been the case since it began and it will remain this way forever. Whilst stalls make their money to fundraise the Carnival at its core is a not for profit event .It is completely self-funding and the team provide a full day of free entertainment for all along with activities for children which are free .It must remain this way to make it accessible for all not just the few who can afford it .”
“These events take a lot of tireless work behind the scenes and it is sometimes a thankless task. The Carnival team now includes 7-8 organisers but still at its core are the three people who have dedicated 10 years of their lives to create this. Chris, Allin and Linda should be proud of what they have managed to achieve in 10 years.”