'Summer of Love' underway as Bognor's yearly carnival set to return

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It’s the Summer of Love all over again, as this year’s flower-power themed carnival returns to Bognor Regis on Saturday (May 25).

Organiser Sarah Boote-Cook said this year’s event could be the biggest yet, with more stalls, more floats, and more attractions then ever, marking the next step in the yearly event’s continuous growth since its inception.

"I always say it takes a village to bring up a child, and its taken a town to build this carnival,” she said. “I feel like everyone has really got behind us, sponsors have supported us to make this possible. This year we have longer parade then ever, and more people in the park – more traders, more stalls, more food traders – then ever before.”

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The parade will set off from the esplanade at 1.15pm, before travelling through the town and the seafront and stopping at West Park, in Aldwick, which will remain abuzz with live music, stalls, food outlets and games until 8pm.Despite it’s continuing success and obvious popularity, Mrs Boote-Cook said that, thanks to council budget cuts, this year’s event almost didn’t happen.

Last year's Rodeo-themed carnival was a huge success.Last year's Rodeo-themed carnival was a huge success.
Last year's Rodeo-themed carnival was a huge success.

"We struggled with funding this year and, luckily, we’ve had some great sponsors, but we need to build up our own money,” she said. “It costs quite a lot to put a carnival on. And we don’t want our carnival to die out, so we will continue and we’ve got a plan moving forward. A lot of local areas have lost their carnivals, and we really want Bognor’s to stay, as a committee we’re passionate about this. We understand that the council can’t give us what they’ve given us in the past and that means we need to be more independent and make sure it continues

Keen to make sure there’s enough money for next year’s carnival, she explained that, this time, the Summer of Love will go far beyond this Saturday. Instead, she’s planned a range of events all through the Summer, designed to provide more family fun then ever.

As well as the carnival itself, members of the public also have a beach bingo, a talent show, and a dog show in West Park to look forward to in the months and weeks to come.

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