STANDING with my toddler in the dark on a freezing cold evening, is not the best of ideas. But then you hear a sound pushing forward in the wind; a humming, overshadowed by cheers from further up the road.
Suddenly a light appears and before you know it, you are enveloped in bright colours, music and lights. Your child’s mouth opens in awe at the huge sight in front of them.
Looking around you are surrounded by your community, people of all ages, who have come together to enjoy an illuminated carnival.
In a split second memories are made that will last you and your family a lifetime. Sadly, my children will have no memories of that, as they were too young at the time to appreciate the true meaning of what they were seeing.
Young and old, coming together to create a float for everyone to enjoy. The comradery involved and the dedication, for no financial gain. A full year of preparation for a few hours, barely finishing one year’s float before the next year’s is already being planned.
But since my child could walk, and remember, there has not been a Yeovil carnival.
We do not drive, so travelling to another town to see one is not only very difficult but loses its meaning when it is not ‘our’ carnival. I want to show my support and bring trade to my town.
It is difficult to understand how Yeovil, being one of the bigger towns, lost its carnival, when smaller towns are thriving in their efforts.
Resources are stretched and funding has been a huge issue, but also the community seems to have not come forward to assure its continuation. Everyone I speak to reminisces about the carnival, yet when efforts are made to bring it back, although the feeling is positive, the actions are not.
A committee has been formed now and they have a great drive and spirit to reintroduce Yeovil to its carnival, but they will need the help of all of us.
If all schools and nurseries joined together and chose a day to do a fund raiser for the carnival, then not only would a lot of money be made for the cause but it would also re-ignite the spirit and excitement for the younger generation, who sadly have never seen this sight.
If all businesses made even a small donation then the coffers would overflow. Even those on social media can donate in some small way. The carnival will be very expensive but can’t we all look at it as if we are paying for our ticket in advance? The event is free and offers so much more than just entertainment.and grandchildren performing in the procession.
We can breathe life back into a dying town. To regain a sense of pride for Yeovil that I fear is sadly slipping away. Why should a select few have to fight for the whole town?
The vast majority would love to see the carnival return to our streets, but how many are going to step forward and ensure this happens?
I would urge everyone to look at their families and imagine how they would enjoy a cold winter evening all wrapped up, watching the brightest lights and loudest music they have seen, with dancing and laughter all around them.