Carnival to return to Portishead in 2020

PUBLISHED: 15:28 07 November 2019 | UPDATED: 15:31 07 November 2019

Portishead Carnival at Lake Grounds.

Portishead Carnival at Lake Grounds.


One of Portishead’s best-loved events will return in 2020 after a year’s hiatus.

Portishead Carnival, Rotary Club Santas.Portishead Carnival, Rotary Club Santas.

The carnival will take over the town next June, providing a day of fun and entertainment for the whole family.

Organisers Jemma Cooper and Wendy Watkins decided not to run the carnival in 2019, following financial difficulties in putting the event on in 2018 when promised funds did not materialise.

Jemma and Wendy said: "We had a very stressful 2018 but thanks to the support of so many in our lovely town we had a very successful carnival and everyone had a great weekend."

The Old Mill had agreed to sponsor the event at a cost of £5,000 last year, but problems financing that were experienced by the pub's then-owners.

Financial aid was handed over by the Conservative-run Portishead Town Council, businesses and individuals to save the 2018 carnival.

Portishead Carnival 2018 3Portishead Carnival 2018 3

But, while the event was a success, it took its toll on Jemma and Wendy.

PICTURES: Portishead Carnival 2018 enjoyed by hundreds of people.

They said: "We felt it was necessary to take a step back this year to look at how the event is run and what might need to change in the future.

Portishead Carnival, Samba dancersPortishead Carnival, Samba dancers

"We have been running it for nearly 20 years and in that time our town has changed massively and the way events are regulated has also changed.

"It's always good to step back and take a look at things and we feel next year will be very special for all sorts of reasons."

Next year's carnival will be held on June 20.

And Jemma is inspired to make it better than ever, following events in her family life.

She said: "This year has been really hard for me as my mum died very suddenly and unexpectedly in January.

"Even if the carnival was scheduled to go ahead this summer I would probably have pulled out as I've been too upset and am still grieving.

"However, next year we are definitely back and I plan to dedicate the carnival to my mum's memory. She really loved the weekend and was a very big part of it's success."

Planning is underway for June's carnival and people interested in getting involved are being urged to come forward.

It will involve the usual High Street parade and activities on the Flower Show Field.

However, a few extra surprises are also on the cards.

Wendy said: "We are delighted to announce June 20 as the date for next year and once again are looking forward to seeing the whole town come together for what promises to be a fantastic weekend.

"We are asking everyone to dress up and get into the spirit of carnival and to take part in the procession to celebrate our wonderful town.

"We have a few things in the planning stage that we are very excited about and look forward to a wonderful weekend celebrating community and friendship."

To take part in the procession, contact Wendy at or on 07816 050181.

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