Morecambe Carnival needs new venue to continue after 2020

Morecambe Carnival could be held in Heysham village after the year 2020 as Eden Project North is planning to occupy the Morecambe Carnival site in the years to come.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 12th August 2019, 5:01 pm

The news comes after yet another successful weekend for the carnival, which attracted 25,000 people who enjoyed acts such as Toyah, The Christians and Ice Factory.

Despite heavy rain and high winds on Saturday that resulted in some cancellations to events, the volunteer carnival team said: “We’re determined to deliver the carnival for the town and community!”

Carnival chairman David Brayshaw said: “It went brilliantly on Sunday, but Saturday was challenging to say the least. There were still people out in the rain, as the show has to go on!

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“The weather changed in time for the parade and all the entries bar one attended. There were 1300 people in the parade, it was superb. People were lining the promenade all along the route.

“From 3pm on the Sunday, the main stage got busier and busier and by 7pm the arena was packed. It was a real party atmosphere.

“It justified our decision not to cancel it as we are used to this sort of weather.

“We had a much more robust stage this time that can withstand winds of 45mph and the winds were monitored on Sunday and were 34mph which was well within the tolerance range.

“As for future carnivals after 2020, the promenade itself should still be available for the parade but the family and fun zones will be a building site for the Eden Project.

“We are looking round for other sites, Heysham village would be brilliant or the land that Morrison’s owns at Frontierland but they would have to do a lot of work on that.

“We have to find somewhere. We’d hate for it not to go ahead, once it stops it will be difficult to reestablish.

“If it turns out the promenade will be closed, I don’t know what will happen.

“Eden understand that there is a lot of successful events and they don’t want to do something that takes away from the festival offering which is very reassuring.

“The last thing we want to do is put a spoke in the works for Eden . If the carnival stops after six or seven years so be it. “

The Christians took to the main stage on Saturday night to perform for the carnival visitors and fans, delivering an incredibly memorable performance.

Sunday’s packed Main Stage show hosted by local radio legend Danny Matthews and Graham Liver of BBC Radio Lancashire featured the return of Morecambe band ‘Ice Factory’ reunited on stage after 28 years.

Original punk princess Toyah rocked the stage with her classic songs ‘It’s a Mystery’ and ‘Thunder in the Mountains’. The show was headlined by S-Club 3, who brought their signature ‘S-Club Party’ to the promenade.

The Flower Power themed carnival parade took to the promenade on Sunday with over 20 committed entrants, showcasing themselves, their causes, clubs, teams and businesses to the thousands who came to cheer them on.

Judges of the parade this year included David Guest of BBC North West Tonight and Greg Lambert from Beyond Radio. The prestigious carnival cups were presented live on stage by newly crowned MC19 Queen Jodanna Holly and Rosebud Bethany Baines.

Best Float: Shine for Sian

Best Themed Float: Girl Guides Best Original Float: Hannah’s Smile Foundation

Best Musical Float: Morecambe Brass Band

Best Small Business: Soul Bowl & Jump Rush

Judge’s Special Award: Tracey Austin’s Dance Factory

This year featured a wide range of attractions including the return of Trevor Cooke’s brilliant EDF Energy Local Legends Stage featuring talented local performers all weekend. The 2019 eco project Wildflowers and Hedgerows collected contributions towards a campaign to restore these critical natural habitats.

New attractions included axe throwing with Lonsdale District Scouts and an expansion of the Carnival’s EDF Energy Science Zone, taking place at the Winter Gardens with exhibitions from Lancaster University, Ludus Dance, The Bee Centre, Lancaster and Morecambe College, Westinghouse and The Wildlife Trust and amazing shows from the Royal Institute.

Beyond Radio set up shop on the promenade with an onsite studio bus broadcasting live from the site for 18 hours across the weekend.

MC19 was seen off with a bang with a spectacular fireworks finale on the Sunday night. The event remained free to attended allowing everyone from all over the community to come and enjoy the experience.

Huge thanks go to the volunteers, sponsors and partner organisations that made MC19 possible.