This weekend’s Huddersfield Carnival will be the biggest and best yet.

But unless local residents and businesses pledge their support, this year’s 30th anniversary event could well be the last.

Kirklees Council is providing some support but is no longer an official partner. And, according to organisers, the council has said that all financial support will be withdrawn for 2015.

This means that organisers, who already give thousands of hours every year for free, will also have to raise the £78,000 needed to provide the infrastructure for the event.

The Huddersfield Carnival has become the biggest celebration of African-Caribbean culture in the region.

Last year it attracted some 30,000 spectators as well as troupes from around the country – and this year promises to be even bigger.

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The floats will be longer than ever and troupes from London, Nottingham, Bradford, Leicester, Birmingham and Preston are all taking part.

Organising committee member Liz Thomas said: “We are expecting this year’s carnival to be the biggest yet. But Kirklees will not be supporting us next year, we have to become self funding.

“People all love the carnival but we have a serious message to get out to the public. If they want the carnival to continue, they will have to help us financially.

“For the first time we will be asking for contributions at Greenhead Park gates on Saturday; this is voluntary. But the bottom line is that unless we can raise the money we need, there will be no carnival next year.”

Hundreds of people donate countless hours of their time to organise the event, make costumes and organise floats. However, the carnival also has fixed costs.

A big chunk of this goes on stage hire and management and paying for artists. Other major costs are security (£18,000), lorries for the procession, sound systems, a marquee, portable loos (£3,000) and although Kirklees Council does give some financial support, organisers have to pay the council £5,200 for the cleaning of Greenhead Park.

The carnival’s events manager Richard Douglas added: “The carnival is definitely under threat. We would really like to see some backing from local businesses, small and large.

“The event has grown from a single float to this year’s event. It is always so peaceful and enjoyed by so many people. We are appealing for help to keep going. If it goes it will be a great loss to Huddersfield.”

A council spokesman said: “The council is assisting Huddersfield Carnival this year but no decision has been made about future help as this will depend on the outcome of the spending review.

“As a result, we are working with the carnival committee to prepare them for the eventuality that support may not be available.”

 

Route

This year the parade starts from the Hudawi Centre at 1pm before travelling along Great Northern Street, Willow Lane, St John’s Road, John William Street, Market Place, Cloth Hall Street, Market Street and arriving in Greenhead Park where a packed programme of events has been laid on.

Entertainment runs until 8pm and includes a range of live bands, dance groups, rappers, reggae, soca artists, African drumming and DJs.

There will also be a range of stalls, a fair and a steel pan workshop in the park, where youngsters are invited to have a go at beating the drums.

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