The chairman of the carnival committee has spoken out after reading criticism that this year’s annual parade had no marching bands - and has gone on to launch a new Facebook page for “anyone who loves Skegness”.
Gary Starr took to social media to congratulate the volunteers who took part and explain why, this year, the committee decided not to pay for marching bands.
Stop perpetuating your negativity on those who are making a difference, because guess what - we areGary Starr, chairman of Skegness Carnival committee
He said: “The carnival parade was an amazing success and to everyone who came to take part, despite the weather, and the thousands of people watching, thank you.
“Everyone volunteered their services free of charge for the benefit of Skegness. This is the positive everyone should take away from it.
“This year we decided we were not going to pay the £1,500 plus cost - which was spent last year - on marching bands.
“The expenses and costs of putting on this event escalate each year and we, as a committee, decided with six days of free entertainment being offered as part of the Summer Festival, plus the fact everyone from Skegness comes forward to volunteer in the carnival, that we would no longer pay bands from other towns to support the carnival.
“To clarify - we are volunteers who raise money via sponsorship, donations and the several events we run throughout the year.
“The costings of the entire week are currently in excess of £30,000 - all of which is provided for free for the benefit of Skegness, by the people who care about Skegness.
“When I took over as chair, it was at a stage the carnival was not going to happen due to lack of funding. So taking into account that within a year we now have the biggest free live event in Skegness, I’d say the new committee is doing an incredible job, voluntarily for free.
”One final thing, if anyone wishes to donate, money or time to help build a bigger and better carnival and festival next year, message me with your ideas, you will be more than welcome.”
To the people who criticise their efforts, he said: “Do me a favour, find a hobby that brings you joy, step away from your computer and stop perpetuating your negativity on those who are making a difference, because guess what - we are.”
Since the statement, there have been many messages of support for the Carnival Committee. Leanne Unsworth posted: “My kids both had an awesome time watching the parade and have loved the events in Tower Gardens.”
Paul Henry said: “What an amazing event for all in Skegness! An incredible achievement that many/most seaside resorts could only dream of happening and occurs through the dedication and hard work of volunteers. Bravo, keep up the great work and much kudos to all these involved.”
To get involved, visit the Skegness Carnival Facebook page. Post pictures and memories by visiting the Love Skegness Facebook page.
* See page 13 of this week’s Skegness Standard for story and pictures from the Skegness Carnival 999 day.