So many people to thank for bringing back town’s Carnival

IN A WEEK’S time the Eastbourne Sunshine Carnival returns after a break of 15 years.

I am absolutely delighted that after all the time and effort spent over the last 18 months, the town will be seeing a carnival of 80 floats and a walking procession with an incredible 1,800 participants.

I was absolutely determined to bring back the Eastbourne Carnival, and now that it is only a few days away it is time for some thanks.

First and foremost to our Pageant Master Dave Cooper. When I asked him to take on the responsibility neither of us really knew the scale of the task. He has been, quite simply, outstanding. Thanks Dave.

Others have also played an invaluable part in getting this Carnival off the ground. Andy Holter, who is performing the tremendously complicated task of traffic management and orchestrating the entire procession; Rupert Ashford playing a key role as Andy’s right hand man; and Angelo Errigo doing a splendid job of taking care of the crucial Health and Safety.

All four deserve the gratitude of Eastbourne and Willingdon residents. Without them, we would not have had a carnival.

Thanks also goes to Daniel Neilson, who organised the fantastic carnival map which will be given out free with this Friday’s Herald.

This is a superb advertisement for the event and for Eastbourne. And not forgetting the Herald – our local paper’s support for the return of the carnival has been unstinting.

I also appreciate hugely the two main sponsors of the event: Mears, and Southern Water.

Finally, all the dedicated volunteers who will help us make Saturday, June 2 an unforgettable experience for Eastbourne. Hats off to you.

One of the town’s incredible strengths is its sense of community, its determination to pull together as a team.

Churches, community groups, the council events team, the emergency services and the local business and hospitality community - all have stepped up.

For all of you who will come and enjoy yourselves at the Carnival, please give generously to the bucket collectors.

Every penny given will go into the Sunshine Carnival pot to be shared 50 per cent for participating charities and 50 per cent put in the account for next year.

This way we - all of us - will be building a sustainable model so that the Eastbourne Sunshine Carnival 2012 can grow and grow until one day it will become the most fabulous carnival on the south coast of England – of that I am sure.

It will draw tens of thousands of visitors to Eastbourne who will spend their money in our town.

The journey towards this starts at 6pm on June 2. See you all there!

Stephen Lloyd