Topsham gearing up for its first carnival procession

PUBLISHED: 12:30 17 August 2015

The Topsham In Bloom team take second place for their colourful walk-in entry. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref ext 3023-35-14AW. To order your copy of this photograph go to www.exmouthjournal.co.uk and click on Photo Orders

The Topsham In Bloom team take second place for their colourful walk-in entry. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref ext 3023-35-14AW. To order your copy of this photograph go to www.exmouthjournal.co.uk and click on Photo Orders

Archant

A 50-year Topsham tradition - the annual carnival procession - is to end because of the cost of closing the road.

The procession, which is the only one in Exeter, will take place on Saturday, August 29. It has been a fixture in the town since 1965.

Organisers have said this year’s parade will be the last, but the town fayre will be continuing.

Committee secretary Gerry Hannaway said the rising costs of closing off the roads to traffic had meant they can no longer afford to hold the event.

He said: “It was a very difficult decision for committee members to take.

“The reasons are mainly associated with putting on this event, balanced by income, which means it is no longer financially viable.

“We’re not the first carnival to have to stop and I don’t think we will be the last.

“It’s only going to be the larger towns that will be able to get the sponsorship and donations.”

This year’s fayre begins on Sunday, August 23, with the annual carnival parade through the town taking place on Saturday, August 29.

Both motorised floats and walking entries will line up in Elm Grove Road at 5pm for what will be the final carnival.

Floats will then be judged at around 6.30pm before they set off for the procession an hour later.

The route will take in Denver Road, High Street, Fore Street, Holman Way and Station Road.

As part of the fayre, there will also be a family fun day from 1pm on Sunday, August 23, at Topsham Rugby Club.

This will feature an appearance from Devon stunt bike rider Andrei Burton, as well as the crowning of the Topsham royal family.

There will also be a dog show and a flower and vegetable competition at Matthews Hall.

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