Get your parade entries ready for a diamond day

A past carnival parade
A past carnival parade

In its 60th year, organisers of this year’s Todmorden Carnival are hoping the community helps them put on a real diamond of an event.

And the carnival committee are encouraging people to draw on previous parades held throughout Todmorden’s history to put together their fancy dress, foot tableaux, decorated vehicle and float entries for this year’s event on Saturday, May 25.

Entry forms are now available for the event, which will include the traditional parade through Todmorden town centre before an afternoon of fun on the carnival field, Centre Vale Park.

Carnival chairman Philip Clarke said that with the re-introduction of the floats section after several years and a wide-ranging brief, people would get their ideas ready and support the event.

“It’s 60 years since the town’s carnival was re-started after earlier events and we’ve given it the theme ‘Todmorden Carnival Needs You - Past Parades of Todmorden.’ We have re-introduced the floats this year and there is some good prize money to be won in those parade sections and the tug-of-war competition which will be held on the carnival field,” he said.

Philip added that a number of stalls are already applying to take slots and a four-day fair will be in place from Thursday through to Bank Holiday Monday on the section of the park least affected by drainage problems experienced at the evenue since last summer.

The wide-ranging theme means the sky’s the limit for ideas, said Philip. Entrants could base their efforts on a favourite float or tableaux from a previous carnival parade or tap into the theme of any of the other parades held in Todmorden over the years.

These range from lifeboat parades, celebratory parades like those held when the town became a borough in 1896 and another to mark its centenary in 1996, Princess Rose parades, second world war Victory Day parades, church parades, jazz band parades and more, and of course your memories from a Todmorden carnival favourite or other carnivals once held, at Walsden and Cornholme.

A dip into the archives recalls some great efforts ranging from Ashenhurst Community Association’s memorable early 80s “Cavemen” tableaux, to the still-talked-about 40 years or so later “Charlestown hole” entry which commemorated a particularly long-running roadworks saga and came complete with water spurting out of it, and Ferney Lee School’s Wacky Races entry of 2003 when they brought cartoon favourites Dastardly and Muttley and company to life.

With entry forms already going out to local schools and pubs, Philip hopes people will make this year’s event a really memorable one that is something to put a smile on people’s faces after last year’s soaking summer.

For more details, or to get an entry form, email todmordencarnival@live.co.uk or contact Philip on phone 07778 614128.