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the 'Carnival'

Posted: Tue 30 Jun, 2015 11:49 am
by MultiDad
time for a rant... :)

with the usual due sense of dread, I went to the Hertford 'Carnival' on sunday... what about this event makes it a Carnival?

I'll list ( a bit like the 'Generation Game') what I saw. a bouncy castle with queue lasting well over the 30 minute mark, a beer table from McMullens, a stall where someone was giving out flyers about a local gym, a stall where some well meaning folk were selling some knitted items where you couldn't actually tell what they were, a few stalls selling homemade cupcakes and the like,a tent for a local football team, a crepe stall, a coffee stall, st Johns (might have been red cross) tent, local police tent, a few bands playing some really rubbish music(and i should know, as the music I play is just as bad), and topped off with some local councillors making annoucements. there were others but they have left an indelible blank on my memory...

thankfully, there was no parade this year...

Now i realise that it was well attended, but doesn't this show how little there is to do in Hertford on a sunday? I also realise that the organisers are well-meaning and are doing their best. but, I ask again, what about this makes it a carnival?

what we need is a Town Centre Manager to get this event changed fundamentally. Someone who could get really interesting performers (not Majorettes!!) and provide some narrative to the event. the word Carnival means 'end of meat' and is a celebration. can anyone really say that that is what we had?

i am standing well back, as I expect flame mail responses :)

Re: the 'Carnival'

Posted: Tue 30 Jun, 2015 6:09 pm
by Steve

Re: the 'Carnival'

Posted: Tue 30 Jun, 2015 9:39 pm
by Toady
No flames but I think you're being a bit harsh. Why not volunteer to join the organsing committee for next year and share your ideas with those who evidently put a lot of work into Sunday's event?

Re: the 'Carnival'

Posted: Wed 01 Jul, 2015 8:44 am
by MultiDad
therein lies the problem... a 'committee' runs it. if you stood all the committees in the world end to end, they wouldn't reach a conclusion....

plus that other chestnut, ' a Camel is a horse designed by a committee'....

the event needs leadership :D

Re: the 'Carnival'

Posted: Wed 01 Jul, 2015 12:39 pm
by codek2
The event was rammed. Despite the rain. Clearly there was NOT a lack of advertising this time - everyone knew about it. Anyone who claims they didn't, well just as well otherwise it would have been crazy busy. (This was a criticism of previous events)

Regardless of the name of it, how can it be considered anything other than a success?

The council do a fantastic job with these events, from this, teddy bear picnic, knights fighting, outdoor screenings and then the highlight of rock the castle. We're very lucky.

Re: the 'Carnival'

Posted: Wed 01 Jul, 2015 12:42 pm
by Steve
FYI the "carnival" is not organised by the council
codek2 wrote: The council do a fantastic job with these events, from this, teddy bear picnic, knights fighting, outdoor screenings and then the highlight of rock the castle. We're very lucky.

Re: the 'Carnival'

Posted: Wed 01 Jul, 2015 12:55 pm
by codek2
it is supported by the council though.

Certainly the council ran the castle tours etc. And there's overlap on the committee?

Do they charge for the use of the castle grounds?

Re: the 'Carnival'

Posted: Wed 01 Jul, 2015 9:19 pm
by Toady
If the event needs leadership why not offer to provide some. Or rather, if you don't like the camel do not ride it.. :D

Re: the 'Carnival'

Posted: Thu 02 Jul, 2015 10:53 am
by SloopJohnB
A few remarks regarding the above.

In 1912 or thereabouts the then Lord Salisbury gifted the grounds of Hertford Castle to the Corporation for the enjoyment of the people of Hertford. You cannot charge people for community events (which may not cover the open air cinema) but you can ask for a voluntary donation. Hertford Castle (as we call it) is leased by HTC direct from Lord Salisbury but the grounds are maintained by EHDC. I believe that HTC still have to submit a Risk Assessment to EHDC for events in the grounds.

Four years ago when the Carnival was re-introduced I remember it being a hugely successful event through the town and on Hartham. The following year there were more floats. Then last year the procession had to be cancelled owing to lack of interest and the stalls relocated to the Castle grounds. What happened? Did all interest die - what happened to those organisations that took part? What happened to the people of Hertford that couldn't take part? Obviously something happened in the intervening period for all those participants to withdraw.

As for the need for a committee. Take it from me one person cannot run a town centre event by themselves. Things have to begin with a plan, a vision or what you want to call it. A lot of people have to be on board with various areas of expertise to advise and organise security, stalls, entertainment and legal things. This is the basis of a committee. What you need is a strong Chairperson to keep the event going in the right direction without too many loose cannons wanting to change things. The slackers and the half interested soon drop out.

But more importantly you need an even more stronger Lead Organiser. They will usually do all the work. Their name goes on the Risk Assessment, Insurance, emergency services contact and so on. They make the decisions when you can't call a meeting, liaise with media, police etc. They are also in charge on the day. You have a person in charge of security and road closures, one for stall holders to check health and safety issues and one to organise the entertainment schedule. All look after litter and broken glass etc. The man in charge is the Lead Organiser. No argument.

A brief resume of Fun Days. Hope it helps if anyone really wants to see a Carnival back on the streets. It takes about six months to get things in place, arrange finance and recruit volunteers. I would start in October.

Re: the 'Carnival'

Posted: Fri 03 Jul, 2015 2:27 pm
by @HertfordSoul
Whether it was a 'Carnival' or a fete, we still had a great time.

Why doesn't someone send feedback to the organiser Peter Rawlings? His email address is here -

I'd certainly want to hear people's feedback from the day (positive or negative) if it was me who had organised it.