Portishead Carnival to throw ‘biggest parade ever seen’ to end era as organisers step down

PUBLISHED: 12:00 06 February 2020

Portishead Carnival was held on Saturday. Picture: Tracey Fowler.

Portishead Carnival was held on Saturday. Picture: Tracey Fowler.

Tracey Fowler

The future of Portishead Carnival has been thrown into doubt after organisers have decided to step down from running the event after nearly 20 years.

Bristol Kettlebell Train Like a Super Hero.Bristol Kettlebell Train Like a Super Hero.

Organisers say they intend to 'go out on a high' and are 'urging' Portishead businesses and pubs to put on entertainment and attractions at the festival.

The event, which sees
thousands of people line Portishead's streets each year, has been held in the town for more than 100 years, and its organisers feel it is the right time for them to step down.

The duo, who both grew up in Portishead, took over the carnival in 2002 and the procession lines the town's High Street and brings attractions to Portishead show field.

Organisers Jemma Cooper and Wendy Watkins said: "It's been a very hard decision, but after nearly 20 years the time is right for us to step aside.

Carnival Queen Daisy with Martha and Boe.Carnival Queen Daisy with Martha and Boe.

"It's been extremely emotional, and there will be lots of tears,
but we know it's the right thing to do.

"We have absolutely loved running the event and it's been an incredible privilege, but it's never been ours to keep.

"Now, it's time for new blood to come forward to ensure the carnival's success for future generations, just as we have.

"It's been an amazing experience, and we are confident whoever takes it over will enjoy the same level of support and the event will be just as successful in the future."

Portishead Carnival, Samba band.Portishead Carnival, Samba band.

The pair added that only bands and acts from the area will perform at the show field this year as a 'celebration of community'.

The pair continued: "This year, we are inviting back all former kings, queens and princesses to lead the procession again, as well as previous float entries and walking groups.

"We also hope all of Portishead's pubs, bars and restaurants will get into the carnival spirit by putting on entertainment and attractions.

"We want to go out with a real bang, it's the end of an era and we really want to celebrate everything the community has achieved over the last 20 years."


Portishead Carnival will be held on June 20 with a time to be confirmed.

To take part in the procession, call Wendy on 07816 050181 and former carnival kings, queens and princesses can text Debs on 07855 944764.

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