Chorley Carnival will not be held this year

Huge crowds watching the Chorley Carnival parade last year
Huge crowds watching the Chorley Carnival parade last year

Chorley Carnival will not go ahead this year, organisers have announced.

The annual spectacle has been held at Astley Park in early June since it was resurrected in 2013.

“The carnival will not be held this year. The next one will be next year.”

Paul Wilkins

But the carnival and popular parade through the town centre will not take place this summer.

Instead, it will next take place in 2017 and could be held every two years in future.

Paul Wilkins, carnival committee chairman, said: “The carnival will not be held this year. The next one will be next year.

“The reasons are we are looking for more people to join the committee now because some have resigned. They have put a lot of work in over the last few years.

“It’s getting hard work because we have to raise £20,000 plus for the carnival, plus £4,000 for the deposit on the park. It means quite a lot of events to run it.

“We have had meetings with the council and we are going to have more. We are looking at working to keep the cost down.”

The carnival committee had organised a series of popular events throughout the year to pay for the carnival.

These included a food festival in Chorley town centre and a fireworks display and bonfire.

But a smaller bonfire was held at Euxton Cricket Club in November 2015, rather than at Astley Park, and the food festival will not return this year.

It means the committee believes it will not have enough time to raise the thousands of pounds needed to hold the carnival in 2016.

Paul said: “To raise that kind of money in the period we have got is virtually impossible.

“We are not running the food festival this year because it was a success, but the trade stalls that came to it didn’t want to come back because they are not making enough money. They want to go to the cities like Manchester.

“We have to look again at the way we are raising funds.”

Fund-raising events will still be held throughout the year, with ideas including a family fun day and a race night.

The committee is looking for more people to get involved with the carnival and fund-raising events, as well as sponsors.

Paul said: “We are still actively looking for more people to get involved with helping and businesses in the town to sponsor.”

The carnival has donated money to good causes, with Legacy Rainbow House in Mawdesley and Chorley Fibromyalgia Support Group among those to have previously benefited.

Paul said the carnival committee had already held meetings with Chorley Council about the event.

And it is hoped that improvements planned for Astley Park, including work to the drainage, could benefit the carnival in future, particularly in wet weather.

Coun Alistair Bradley, leader of the council, said: “We appreciate that the carnival is a large event to organise and that it takes a huge effort from the committee, in putting it altogether and raising the funds.

“I think it’s a sensible idea to look to run it every two years because that will allow for more time to plan it and make it more sustainable in the future.

“We will be happy to sit down with the committee and discuss the plans for 2017, as soon as they are ready, to make sure everything is in place in plenty of time.”

Anyone wishing to get involved with the carnival is asked to email Paul at info@paulk.co.uk.