Mercedes’ Marvellous Mondays. Eastbourne’s Sunshine Carnival…
Mercedes Prunty, Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/MercedesPrunty/
On the 26th May, myself and my little family went along to our town’s carnival, ‘The Eastbourne Sunshine Carnival’ and boy, what a swelteringly hot day it was!
Our journey to the carnival started off in the car, where we all panicked as huge splatters of rain pelted the windscreen, (Plus, I hadn’t packed rain coats for the occasion, it wasn’t meant to rain). We soon hit the dual carriageway and sighed with relief as the sun came blazing out once again and showered the town with it’s warmth. The weather had just been playing games with us.
We made it up near to the seafront or as close as we could physically get, the local council had closed off most of the roads around the area for safety reasons, but they had left one main road with access to a field where the gate was open. The field in question had been opened by the council specially for the event and the parking was FREE! What a result and a great show of townsmanship from the owners to let it for free, it also meant that the pennies I had taken with me could be used in the Carnival to buy something for the kids, oh, and to let them have rides on the funfair that had timed it just right to come to town and be at the last stop on the carnivals route.
Of course, first things first, the kids had to go in the funfair whilst we waited for the carnival to arrive to our location. The smell of popcorn and candy floss in the air mixed in with hotdogs and burgers made our stomachs cry out in hunger. The screams of thrill seekers on the fair rides being swung high in the air gave an enlightened sense of fun. The sense of a great fun day was all around us and instantly infected my kids who ran to the nearest ride and begged to go on. £20 later and with some very dizzy children we then made our way to the local park which was all located in the same area, ‘Princes Park’, which had been done up some years ago and now had a lovely splash pad area for the kids to get wet and let off some steam. After a quick play in the water and drying off then charging about the swings and slides we heard the coming carnival music. Like the rest of the town who had turned out to watch we lined the streets on the curbs and awaited the first group of dressed up carnival goers to arrive.
One of the first people to walk past waving was our lovely local MP Stephen Lloyd, who in 2010 became our elected MP and had vowed to bring back the carnival which had been on a 15-year break. He managed to group together a committee of businesses and Eastbourne influencers that wanted to see Eastbourne grow after the big recession hit. A lot of these companies, businesses and committee members were indeed also within the carnival dressed up, dancing and parading through the town.
My personal favourite carnival attendee was the dancing group who looked to be dressed as Peruvian dancers. The outfits were amazing and must have taken ages to design and make, plus they looked super cheeky as you can see by the photo of them. My kids’ favourite was the Fire-engines as they drove past and turned on their sirens, my eldest went for a school trip to the fire station last year and has been obsessed with them ever since. My husbands favourite was the Field Gun that they wheeled through the street. We also got to see Micky Mouse and Captain Jack Sparrow as well as some Steampunk, Runaway Brides, a musical Band played by the local scout / beavers group, a Save the NHS group, The Samaritans, Irish Dancers, Thunderbirds, Stix Drummers, Skaters and many, many more.
The day was a sun streaked, fun filled, flash of colour and all the things that make Eastbourne great. The Carnival since it’s break has now been going for its 6th / 7th year and has now become a highly anticipated event by all its residents and visitors to the town. This year they had anticipated over 1,500 walkers within the parade which there must have been as there were so many colourful and musical people. There were also meant to have been around 25,000 supporters cheering on the carnival, which for Eastbourne is great as the seafront is long and so the cheering crowds can spread out. I highly recommend coming to visit the carnival if you are in or visiting Eastbourne next time it’s on, plus they raise money for Charities doing it. So, it’s all for a good cause.