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Are you ready for today's Southend carnival?
10:00am Saturday 17th August 2013 in News
ORGANISERS of Southend Carnival are as excited as ever to showcase the talents of the community to the town.
Today, the grand illuminated carnival procession will leave Chalkwell shelter at 7.45pm and make its way along Marine Way and Western Esplanade before finishing outside the Castle Pub at 10pm.
Garry Lowen, the event manager said the carnival is all about the local community. He added: “It’s the community involvement that makes the event the success it is. It’s their investment in it as well, because what we raise goes straight back out into the community on various projects.
“We have community groups on the parade showing the community what they can do and how they in turn can give back to the community.”
The Southend carnival dates back to 1906, when it was part of an annual regatta. It’s estimated that it has invested more than £10million into the local voluntary community.
Organising an event on such a large scale is no easy task, especially when it includes numerous road closures.
Fourteen youngsters from across Essex have got involved and helped deliver leaflets, as part of the government’s National Citizen Service scheme, to residents whose roads will be affected by the carnival.
Mr Lowen explained: “We have a huge team putting this all together, and the preparation really starts straight after the previous year’s event. We’ve worked out nearly 10,000 man hours are involved in putting this together, it’s a mammoth task.
“We have to do things like the signage, putting letters through doors telling people about the 24 different road closures.”
Mr Lowen hopes the carnival will be well attended and that the people of Southend will come and support the event.
He said highlights will include Rampage, the sound system team that regularly frequent the Notting Hill carnival, and an American style marching band coming all the way from Poole.
He added: “We have no air show this year, so apart from maybe Village Green we’re one of the flagship events in the town, so we really hope people come out and support the carnival and the community it’s showcasing.”
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