Otley carnival to end if no new volunteers come forward, organisers warn

Otley carnival organisers have warned the popular event could end if no new volunteers come forward to help.

Monday, 30th August 2021, 6:00 pm
Otley Carnival in 2019. Picture: Steve Riding

A number of the current committee members have announced they are retiring - many of whom have been helping to organise the carnival since it began in its present form in 1982.

The annual carnival - last held in 2019 due to Covid-19 - is a day-long celebration usually held on the third Saturday in June, with a parade through the town, finishing in the show fields at Bridge End, where stalls, activities and displays are held.

Nigel Gill, the carnival’s publicity officer, said in the past it has attracted around 25,000 spectators along the parade route and the loss of such an event in the future would have an impact on the local economy.

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He said it would be a "major upset" if it had to stop.

“It’s been going nearly 40 years and we’ve been running low on new blood, so to speak. We’re just looking to see if there are any more volunteers, or someone who wants to take it over, so the carnival can continue," he said.

In a post on Facebook, he added: “The Carnival committee would like to take this opportunity to thank the people of Otley for their support over the years.

"The schools have unfailingly taken part every year; lorry owners have consistently loaned lorries, free of charge; we have been able to use both the Wharfedale Farmers’ Auction Mart and the Show Field; and individuals, too many to list, have given their time and expertise.

"Thank you Otley.”

Anyone interested can email Nigel at [email protected] or alternatively message the Otley Carnival Facebook page.