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No queens or floats this year - but show will go on
THERE will be no carnival queen in Verwood this year, ending an 84-year tradition.
Only one or two potential queens have entered the contest each year in recent times so organisers have decided to drop the category.
They have also scrapped floats this year after fewer and fewer organisations were prepared to enter, citing high insurance costs and health and safety concerns.
Instead, there will be a short walking procession – any wheeled entries must be non-motorised.
New committee members are now being sought to bring fresh ideas for entertainment and attractions after support for the event, which has been held since 1929, dwindled.
A stalwart band of volunteers, mostly from the town’s Rotary club, have been working hard to keep it going for the last decade, but have said it is tough going.
Even so, the event has managed to raise thousands of pounds for charity every year and hopes are high the carnival can become the premier event in the town’s calendar once again.
Despite the lack of a queen there will, however, be a carnival princess selection on Sunday, March 24 at The Verwood Guide Headquarters in Manor Road at 2pm.
Candidates for princesses must be aged between nine and 14 and must live in Verwood or Three Legged Cross.
Rotarian Steve Saville said: “We always have lots of potential princesses – 25 to 30 girls enter each year. But I’m afraid it’s not cool to be a queen these days.
“It’s not a beauty contest – queens have been chosen for their personalities and what they have done. But it’s just not cool.”
Anyone who would like to join the committee, which involves about six meetings a year, can contact carnival chairman Adrian Reed on 01202 826908 or go to verwoodcarnival.com.
The carnival itself will take place on Saturday, June 29 with all the usual attractions and the funfair at The Fuzzy Bit, just off Crane Drive.