ONE of the organisers of a popular town carnival has lashed out at the community for not offering their support.
Yvonne Marriott, of Alamein Drive, Winsford, has been part of the Winsford Carnival committee for the past 14 years but she warns that unless more people get involved the annual event may be lost.
Since its inception in 1937, Winsford Carnival has continued thanks to the hard work of volunteers. But in recent times the committee has seen increasing apathy coupled with decreasing investment in the celebration, which last year suffered record financial losses.
Organiser Yvonne said: 'The carnival has always been hard to put on but we are now down to four people on the committee and we need at least eight.
'My mum was a former carnival queen and I was brought up to visit the carnival every year. People come forward but lose interest and say, 'why support it when others don't?'.
'It is upsetting. One of my close friends packed it in because she was really peeved that nobody wants to come and get involved, and she was brilliant help last year.
'We need sponsors coming forward, particularly in the community such as schools, clubs and pubs - if they don't take part then the community is letting the town down.'
The only funding the committee receives is £500 from the town council and Yvonne feels aggrieved that people are quick to criticise the dwindling spectacle without offering support.
She said: 'We could have a fantastic parade but people will moan about it because, for example, we can only afford to put two bands on this year. Last year we booked three but you are
talking £400 for a band, £250 at the cheapest. The problem with last year's carnival is that it rained but we still had to pay everybody.
'People just don't understand what is involved and what we have to pay out - the £500 we receive off the council will pay for the toilets.
'I think we might have to cancel the carnival or do it every two years in future.'
Despite the concerns there is still hope - the committee has put in for a community grant from the Cheshire Building Society and they have one attraction lined up this year which would be sure to bring in the crowds.
'We are trying the carnival on a Sunday for the first time ever and the reason is that we have Cheshire Championship Troop Dancing. It is usually held at Rudheath's carnival but they've cancelled theirs and we jumped at the chance of holding it.'
Winsford Carnival 2005 is scheduled to take place on Sunday, July 17. nWinsford Carnival committee would like to hear from anyone who would like to assist in the running of Winsford Carnival. The committee also requires boys and girls from four to 16 years for the choosing of the Winsford Carnival Queen and Retinue - they must be available on Sunday, July 17.
The selection is being held at the Barton Stadium, Winsford United FC, on Sunday, April 10, from 4pm. Entrance is 50p for children and £1 for adults. For more information contact Yvonne Marriott on 01606 557942.