Covid precautions in place as Leighton-Linslade Carnival gets ready to raise spirits
Pandemic means it's a procession-only event this year
Covid safety precations have been put in place as Leighton-Linslade Carnival returns this year on Saturday, July 10 as a procession-only event.
To commemorate the 60th modern carnival, organisers have chosen a theme of “1962 Revisited” but due to the pandemic - which forced the cancellation of the 2020 carnival - there will be no entertainment at Parson's Close Recreation Ground.
The procession will be led by the Senior Princess Poppy Freeman and Princess Charlotte Cox, who were selected for 2020 but did not have the opportunity to perform their duties.
Judges this year include Margaret Tyas (Carnival Queen 1962). Teresa Knights, Simon Marshall (Rotary President) and Town Mayor Cllr Farzana Kharawala.
The procession will be run under strict Covid controls. Each float will be a discrete unit and numbers/distancing will apply to each one individually. All stewards will be using equipment that is issued to them only, and will not be shared.
All collecting tins etc will also be issued to individuals and not shared. Used equipment and collecting tins will be placed into “used” containers and quarantines for at least three days before repacking or counting. Anyone travelling in closed transport (buses etc) will wear masks, as will those using toilet facilities on route. Carnival is responsible for Track & Trace information for stewards and helpers, float organisers for their teams.
It will not be possible to hold the normal presentations of procession awards this year. The winners will be notified on the evening of Saturday 10th, and will be put on social media on Sunday 11th - and of course be recognised in the LBO that week! The presentation of awards is likely to take place on the morning of Sunday 18th when representatives of each procession entry will be invited to an outdoor location for this to take place.
Although organisers had advertised that entries for the procession close on the Sunday before the event (July 4), they have decided to accept entries until Thursday 8th this year.
A spokesman said: "Many of our regular participants are unable to join carnival this year as their groups have not been able to meet and have time to prepare. However, some new groups have come forward this year and there is still the opportunity for groups, clubs, streets etc to enter.
"We also have a section for private vehicles which could be 1960s era or more modern decorated vehicles. Procession entry forms can be downloaded from the carnival website at www.leightoncarnival.co.uk."
The procession will leave Mentmore Road at 11.30am and follow a circular route around the town ending in Chartmoor Road about 3pm. The route is on the website and can be tracked on the day via the carnival Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/leightonlinsladecarnival.
There will be collection tins on the procession, but this year the carnival has teamed up with National Fundraising Scheme Donate to allow online and text donations.
The spokesman said: "We would urge people to be as generous as possible as we will not have much of our usual fundraising without the event in Parsons Close. Local groups benefit from carnival, but without public support we cannot help these groups. If anyone would like to help stewarding for part of the procession route, please contact us on [email protected]“Again, carnival will be different this year. We are looking forward to visiting parts of the town where carnival has never been before. Every house in town should have received a souvenir programme delivered by our partners SLB Distribution.
"Please come out and support us if you live on the procession route, cheer those who have entered the procession, give generously and help make carnival 2021 a success.”