A bit about the history of the carnival……
Porlock Carnival first took to the High Street in 1978 as part of the village celebrations for the silver jubilee of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. It was to be several years before the carnival became an established part of village life. Seeking ways of raising funds for their Benevolent Fund and other local causes, the retained fire-fighters of Porlock decided in 1986 to resurrect what had been a popular entertainment. They were already running the Porlock Bay Raft Race which sadly ran aground in 1993, although the two events were held in tandem for several years. Whilst monies raised by the Raft Race were destined primarily for the Fire Service Benevolent Fund, those raised by Porlock Carnival were distributed amongst local groups such as the Youth Club and Scouts.
Originally Porlock Carnival was held on August Bank Holiday Monday, and followed by a dance with live music in the village hall. It was subsequently moved to the first Saturday in September because of police and local authority concerns about the closure of the High Street – the A39 – at such a busy time. Unfortunately the annual dance eventually had to be abandoned due to the lack of advance ticket sales.
Porlock Carnival has been held every year – rain or shine – since 1986. It has never been cancelled, but was postposed for one week in 1997 as a mark of respect on the occasion of the funeral of Diana Princess of Wales.
For many years judges were appointed by the Porlock Carnival Committee from the local population, a practice that was changed in 2011 to instead involve members of the public who happened to be standing on “church corner”. There now operates a points/votes system and the results are quickly collated to establish the winners in each of the many and varied categories: adult walking, children walking, adult float, children’s float, topical, business etc. Why not join in? We regularly welcome entries from neighbouring communities.
This summer will see the 28th Porlock Carnival take to our streets and we very much hope to see you there!