“A small traffic jam” - Stevenage Carnival slammed by residents

Residents have hit out at the organisers of a town carnival after lining a route to watch four vehicles go by.

Hundreds of people turned out on Sunday to watch the first Stevenage carnival in eight years after the event was relaunched by a group of residents.

But with only four vehicles taking part on the two-mile route from The Old Town to Fairlands Valley Park, the Stevenage Carnival Day Organisation was slammed by disappointed onlookers.

Some vented their frustration on the carnival Facebook page.

Jeremy Williams wrote: “What a shambles! Four floats, it was more like a small traffic jam. The fact that there are no companies left in Stevenage probably explains it!”

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Emma Lane Richards posted: “Along with many others we traipsed down to Fairlands at 2pm ready for its arrival at 3pm only to be told it had been and gone...rubbish, won’t bother next year!”

Kerry Anne said: “I have seen a lot better years ago. Everyone I spoke to was disappointed. It took me longer to get home than actually standing there watching it, really debating whether to go next year!”

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Organiser Carol Brassfield said overall the event, which included stalls and bands in Fairlands Valley, was a success.

“We all thought it went very well, the park especially,” she said. “The parade we were a little disappointed because it should have been larger. The reason being there was an issue, a difficulty getting vehicles for floats.”

She added that some parade groups had dropped out at the last minute.

“About a week before the event we had six groups drop out. It was groups who had children or were dancers. The organisers feel it was too far for them to walk. On the day two other groups dropped out because of the heat.”

She added that people who had missed the parade may have misunderstood the timings.

“There seems to be some misunderstanding over the arrival time in the park. We weren’t quite sure how long it was going to take to get there. We did speed up a bit to get down into the park. These are issues.”

The organisation is looking to put on another carnival next year however, possibly with the help of vehicle company.

“One man got in touch with me to complement what had happened,” Mrs Brassfield said. “He is involved in a company. He was happy if that was the issue to find vehicles next year.

“A lot of the issue was taking so long was over getting permission for the route. We feel that we have overcome that now.

“We will make the whole thing bigger and better next year.”

Funding for the carnival included �4,500 from five Stevenage Borough councillors’ county locality budgets. But a spokesman for the council distanced the authority from the event.

“The council advised the organisation on statutory issues including road closures, licensing, event planning and insurance. Beyond this, the council had no involvement with the organisation or promotion of the event on the day, or in generating supporters and participants.”

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