The Cleethorpes Carnival is over ... we may never meet again
GOODBYE Cleethorpes Carnival Parade – we'll always remember you.
North East Lincolnshire waved goodbye to the valued tradition of the Cleethorpes Carnival Parade, which made its way down the Promenade for the last time on Saturday.
After 36 years of being the highlight of the resort's social calendar, organisers can no longer find the £30,000 needed to pay for another parade next year.
However, people from far and wide lined the streets of the seafront to see the famous flock of floats on this historic year – with both the London Olympics and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee – the themes for this year's carnival.
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This year, there were 55 floats in the procession and more than 750 people marching in the parade, from Sidney Park to Meridian Point.
Leanor Pidgen, member of Cleethorpes Events Ltd – the not-for-profit group which has organised the parade on a voluntary basis since funding dried up – said she was thrilled with the final parade.
And although this is the last time that the group will organise the event, there is nothing to stop others taking the torch.
"There were thousands of people, six or seven deep at some points of the route, and there was real party atmosphere," she said.
Mrs Pidgen added: "A lot of effort went into making all the costumes and floats and the people came together to support it.
"The streets were oozing with people and maybe they came out because it was the last one, but maybe it shows that the community needs something like this.
"When communities come together, they can move mountains and this may be the last carnival parade for now but if the people want it back, they can and will bring it back. Maybe one day there will be another parade, maybe something else will take its place."
Mayor of North East Lincolnshire Mike Burton also thought that there may yet be hope to save the event.
Mr Burton said: "I live in Immingham but have been coming to the Carnival Parade for a few years now and I'm always surprised at the amount of effort that goes into people's costumes and floats.
"The joy that it gives and the laughter that comes from the youngsters is marvellous. It would be sad to think I am the last mayor who will get to enjoy the carnival.
"However, I am hoping that it might not be the last one after all – let's keep our fingers crossed."
The Cleethorpes Carnival Parade was, at one point, the longest of its kind in Europe but it has dwindled over the past decade.
Organisers had hoped that the carnival would go out with a bang but this year there were only 55 floats – ten less than last year.
Dave Lord, 51, of West Street, Cleethorpes, thought it was the right time to say goodbye.
"Ten years ago, it was absolutely brilliant and brought thousands of people into town but you can see it is past its sell-by date – everything runs its course," said Mr Lord.
However, Bill and Brenda Messingham brought their daughter and granddaughter – visiting from London – and think the event is still worthwhile.
Bill, 72, of Montgomery Road, said: "We will still be fighting for it and there is always a chance we can save the carnival if enough people support it."
Mrs Pidgen, who has been at the helm for years added: "There are always people that knock the carnival but I could see the looks on the children's faces and it's them that we do this for.
"Saying goodbye tugs on the heartstrings – especially when you see how much effort has gone into all the floats – but even though it is sad to lose it, we can all take many fond memories away from the carnival."