Yarmouth’s first carnival in a decade set to go ahead

EXCITED organisers say Great Yarmouth’s first carnival in a decade will go ahead after readers pledged almost �14,000 to it.

Pleasure Beach worker Wayne Stuart, 28, still remembers huge crowds cheering as floats snaked along the seafront before the annual spectacular petered out in 2003.

In last week’s Mercury he made an impassioned bid for readers to get behind a 2013 revival, and he says he was stunned by the reaction.

“We’ve been flooded with responses,” said Wayne. “I had about a dozen calls after the story appeared and we’ve had almost �14,000 pledged already.

“It looks like it’s going to happen and I was so stunned I had to take a step back to take it all in. I’m pretty overwhelmed by the response - they tried to revive the carnival in 2010 and it didn’t work, so this is pretty amazing to be honest.”

The father-of-two says business sponsors have thrown their weight behind plans, with The Ocean Room, Tramway pub in Gorleston and The Avenue pub in Yarmouth confirmed as backers.

And Mr Stuart, of Stafford Road, revealed he is in final negotiations with a further three Yarmouth firms to help make the carnival the best ever.

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He said he is grateful for their support, and added: “I think the town needs something like this.”

His grand vision would see a battle of the bands on the beach, a seafront parade including the East Coast Truckers and huge crowds lapping up the entertainment.

Caesars Bar in Marine Parade is set to be the venue for the official after party - with wristband entry on the date, which is to be fixed when the full carnival committee is in place. The carnival is planned for July or August 2013.

Mr Stuart says he is working closely with Yarmouth High School, several primary schools are keen to be involved with float planning and he is asking others interested to get in touch.

He has approached Soundwaves Entertainment in Lowestoft, met managers at Market Gates and is making plans for a dance troupe to perform across the town

Gerry Jarvis, 81, was chairman of the Great Yarmouth Carnival Committee when the last event was held in 2003 - funding problems meant it was to be the last year.

He said he remembers the event fondly, and would be delighted to see its return.

For details on Wayne’s plans or to help, call him on 07413 440771 or see www.greatyarmouthevents.co.uk