This year’s Newark Carnival has been brought forward to coincide with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in June. The carnival, normally in July, will be on Sunday, June 3, with a Best Of British theme.
Groups and organisations are being encouraged to join the 1,000-strong procession that will wind its way through Newark’s streets. For the first time the parade will begin at the Market Place before moving along Stodman Street, Lombard Street, Cartergate, Appletongate, Queen’s Road, Bargate and over Beastmarket Hill to Riverside Park.
A community event organised with Newark Town Council will be held at the park once the carnival has ended.
Carnival marketing director Mr Stuart Graham said the event was brought forward in an effort to get more schools involved, as well as to fit in with the jubilee.
“It is free promotion for businesses and schools and it is something creative for the children to work on,” he said.
It is hoped about 35 groups will take part. About eight have already signed up. Event sponsors are also being sought.
Last year 6,000 people lined the carnival route, making the event one of the biggest in the town.
Mr Graham said: “People are going to be in a celebratory mood anyway, so if they are around in town there will be something extra special to be involved in.”
He said the jubilee was all about history and so the historic Market Place was an ideal location to begin.
In previous years the carnival started at Riverside Park and ended at Sconce and Devon Park, joining the annual Sconcefest event.
Mr Graham said ending the carnival with an event in the centre of the town would allow more people to come.
The chairman of the carnival committee, Mrs Elaine Ellison, hoped the event would be a great start to the long weekend of jubilee celebrations.
She said: “It is a great privilege to be able to have a royal theme for the carnival, and now that the organisation of it is in full swing we hope Newark groups will come forward and support us as they have done so in the past.”
Newark Carnival has been held annually since 2007, when the event was resurrected after a break of more than 50 years.