Weymouth Carnival organisers have hit back after negative comments about this year’s procession.
People have vented their feelings about the parade, complaining about the lack of floats compared to previous years.
Organisers were delighted with how it went, but said some of the firms that usually took part in the carnival chose to opt out this year because they had a bad season and wanted to concentrate getting their businesses back on track.
Torrential rain earlier in the day also put others off.
Motorised floats were successfully brought back to the procession in 2010 following a public outcry.
Tighter health and safety regulations and high insurance premiums forced previous organisers to leave them out for two years.
But when new organisers from the town’s Rotary clubs took over they were able to negotiate affordable insurance for vehicles, a deal which has continued.
Negative comments about the procession have appeared on the carnival’s own Facebook page and the Dorset Echo website.
Paul Holmes of Wyke Regis said he thought it was the ‘worst procession ever’ and suggested more businesses including pubs, which benefit from the carnival crowds, should support it by entering floats.
“We all need to get behind it and make it survive,” said Mr Holmes, writing on the carnival’s Facebook site.
Mandy Bussell agreed, saying there were “so many businesses in town that could’ve joined in”.
Donna Marie Mulheran said soaring insurance costs and tighter health and safety regulations had stopped a lot of carnivals and at least the one in Weymouth was still going.
However there was also lots of praise for the carnival on the Facebook page from both locals and visitors.
Comments about the procession on the Dorset Echo website included ‘utter rubbish’, ‘could have been better’ and someone noting there were ‘more vans than anything else’.
Weymouth Carnival supporter Jan O’Brien of The Party Shop, whose circus-themed float won an award, said she was confident more businesses would enter next year.
She said: “It’s true there weren’t as many floats, but I don’t think that’s because people don’t want to enter. I know three different groups which pulled out on the day because they were put off by the rain in the morning.
“Here at The Party Shop we’re troupers and will pull out the stops to be part of the carnival but I can understand that businesses have had a difficult year.
“I’m confident things will pick up next year because of the effect of the Olympics .”
- PROCESSION organiser Stuart Bainbridge said there were 25 motorised entries, including lorries, vans and cars. Overall there were 44 entries, 10 down on last year.
Mr Bainbridge said the quality of entrants was high, but he was ‘disappointed’ some regulars didn’t take part.
He said: “When we contacted the regulars they said they had been having a poor season due to the weather and the Olympics and they wanted to concentrate on running their businesses. They don’t want to drop out completely but times have been hard.”
He added: “Those who took part had a great time and we’ve had positive feedback.”
Carnival chairman Roger Hogbin said: “It’s always nice to see more in the procession but personally I was delighted with it and thought it was a comfortable size. And of course we don’t want to take anything away from those who took part and clearly put a lot of time and effort into their entries.”