COME this time tomorrow (Saturday), Eastbourne will be in carnival overdrive.
The growing excitement has been palpable this week as the town geared up for its first carnival day since before the turn of this century.
Fuelled by Diamond Jubilee fever and – at long last – a decent spell of weather, and Eastbourne is suddenly looking resplendent again in its favourite summer clothes.
Throw into the pot the dozens of street parties being held, the bunting draped from homes and businesses across the town, the thousands planning barbecues and family celebrations in back gardens – all along with a four-day holiday (for most if not all) – and we have a heady mix for a party of the year.
The extended bank holiday will undoubtedly be disruptive for most businesses but for Eastbourne’s underlying tourism economy – weather permitting – it should be a real winner.
The carnival has been 18 months in the planning, initiated by Stephen Lloyd’s MP’s commission. Some doubted that it could ever return in all its former glory but they have been proven wrong. Almost 2,000 people will participate either on floats or as walking entrants, as the town descends on the seafront for the procession’s 6pm start.
Health and safety requirements make these events more difficult to stage than in yesteryear and the attention to detail has been meticulous. But let’s not forget these are volunteers. They deserve our support and so does the carnival, if we really want it to make a permanent return.
Eastbourne under blue skies, with the waves lapping against its shores and with celebrations in full swing, can party better than any other town. So let the fun begin!
DISAPPOINTING as it was, Eastbourne losing out in its Mary Portas pilot town bid was not a major blow.
The creation of a Town Team is about more than just acquiring a new cheque book. It is about fresh thinking, innovative ideas, determination and momentum for change. All of which is there in abundance.
So the work towards regenerating the town centre goes on. And this week’s £100k borough council contribution is a vote of confidence in both the town and the team .