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Weymouth Carnival may not be able to afford Red Arrows
THE Red Arrows’ spectacular return to Weymouth Carnival may be blocked if organisers can’t afford them.
The world-famous RAF aerobatic team look set to return to the charity carnival in August after shunning it last year.
But the new-look independent carnival committee says without financial support from the community, there will be no display.
The committee has already warned it may struggle to get the event off the ground this year because it doesn’t have the backing of a large umbrella organisation such as Rotary or Round Table.
About £30,000 in sponsorship has to be raised to pay for the carnival, including more than £10,000 for the Red Arrows.
There was huge disappointment last year when the ‘Reds’ couldn’t make the carnival, the first time they had missed it for years. The reason was that they were flying back from a display in Russia, and wouldn’t have time to visit Weymouth.
The team’s display programme for 2013 has just been published, and includes Weymouth Carnival on Wednesday, August 21.
Ryan Hope from the carnival committee is thrilled the Red Arrows are coming back – but warns they will have to be paid for.
He said: “It’s fantastic news that they want to come back, they’re a great attraction and a big part of Weymouth Carnival.
“But the truth is, we can’t commit to having them unless we know we have the funds in place.
“Currently we have enough to pay for a basic carnival with a procession. Ideally we would like to have three air displays including the Red Arrows.
“We want to put on a great day while raising money for local charities.”
Mr Hope and other volunteers formed the Weymouth Carnival and Events Club after local Rotary clubs stepped down from carnival organising duties. But Mr Hope has warned he will pull the plug if there isn’t enough local support.
He set an initial fundraising target of £10,000 to get things off the ground, and was delighted when a number of businesses came forward with support.
He said: “We will review it at the end of this month and made a decision about whether we will be able to put on a carnival this year.
“Some businesses have been supportive and we are waiting on others. At the end of the day we need the sponsorship in place before we can go forward.”
WEYMOUTH Carnival is due to take place on Wednesday, August 21.
Weymouth Carnival and Events Club has produced sponsorship packages for businesses starting from £100 and going up to big sums for events including the Red Arrows, grand draw and fireworks.
If you are interested in any of the packages, or just want to make a donation contact sponsorship coordinator Diane Moore by email at weymouthcarnival sponsorship @gmail.com People interested in supporting this year's carnival can also contact Ryan Hope on 07795 246080 or email email@example.com Mr Hope and his team will be at the Best of Dorset Show at the Pavilion this Sunday. They will be raising awareness of the carnival and launching the ‘Give a Pound for Carnival’ fund.