'Can-do' group in 11th-hour bid to save 2012 Kendal Torchlight Carnival (From The Westmorland Gazette)
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'Can-do' group in 11th-hour bid to save 2012 Kendal Torchlight Carnival
DEFIANT campaigners have launched an 11th-hour bid to put together a Kendal Torchlight Carnival this year.
A group calling itself Keep The Flame 2012 hopes to stage a full-scale procession on October 19.
Last month, the popular night-time parade, scheduled for September 14, was axed by the Kendal Torchlight Carnival Committee for the first time its 42-year history due to financial and volunteer shortfalls.
But Keep The Flame – which is working independently of the Torchlight committee – is adamant the event can go ahead and hopes that delaying it a month will provide extra time to raise £20,000 and recruit volunteers.
Group spokesman Solmaz Reynolds said an event of some kind would happen – and its ten volunteers were ‘confident’ of pulling off a full-scale carnival like last year’s.
She said: “We want it to be exactly the same. We have a team of ten people who have a can-do attitude and who want to do something for Kendal.
“We want something this year so businesses don’t lose money, children have something to look forward to and charities have something to go ahead with. We should know by the end of September if we have enough funding.”
Appealing directly to the public, she added: “This is your chance to give something back to Kendal. This event will not go ahead without you.”
The group said it had secured £2,000 to fund road closures, which it plans to formally approach South Lakeland District Council about within the next week.
Cumbria Police has also been made aware of plans for the October event.
Members are working to raise the additional finance required to pay for barriers, licenses and signs.
It wants to hear from local businesses, organisations and groups to take part on floats and other street entertainment.
And an army of 120 volunteers is required to marshal and plan the event – something the new group has offered training for. Money collected on the night would be split between local charities and the cost of next year’s carnival.
Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron said: “Hearing about the campaign to save the event and hold something in October is wonderful news.”
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to offer help, enter a float or make a financial donation, or search Keep The Flame on Facebook.