Diss Carnival Fun Day to move to Mere Park and aim for free entry in 2017

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The 2017 Diss Carnival will relocate from its long-time home of Diss Football Club to the Mere Park, and may offer entry free of charge, the new committee has revealed.

Early plans for next year’s Carnival, which has long served as the town’s signature annual event, were established at the first meeting of the new organising committee, formed following the retirement of most of the organisers behind this year’s event.

The meeting, attended by 14 people, outlined a goal of seeking corporate sponsorships to fund the event’s £6,000 cost, in the hope of enabling the Fun Day to be free and therefore attract more visitors.

Graham Minshull, leader of Diss Town Council and member of the Carnival Committee, told the Diss Express: “I was really encouraged. The majority had never been involved (in the Carnival) before. They were really excited and enthusiastic.

“It should be a fun event. I think they want to put their own sort of slant on it.”

Also during the inaugural meeting, Chris Moyse of the local independent broadcasting station Park Radio was chosen as the committee chairman, while Diss town councillor Joe Aiken was selected to be deputy chairman.

They follow in the footsteps of Carnival stalwarts Doreen and Jim Collins, Steve Flatman Mick and Diane Brown, and John Hutton, who all stepped down following the event earlier this summer, after several years at the helm.

Cllr Minshull said the new committee still intended to stage the Carnival in the same weekend of June as in years past — just before Father’s Day.

However, he explained that the majority at the meeting had decided the Fun Day should move, because they thought the distance between the Carnival procession, which parades in the town centre, and the Diss Town FC grounds in Brewers Green Lane was too far, particularly for parents with young children and elderly people with mobility difficulties.

Cllr Minshull added: “The next step is to go back to a more traditional sort of carnival, with more fete and fairground games. They (the committee) are looking to be inclusive.”

The committee is now set to hold another meeting at a still-to-be-determined date during September, at the Diss Youth and Community Centre (DYCC), to begin discussing and drawing up the finer points of next year’s event.

Members of the public are invited to come along and offer their views on what they would like to see from the Carnival.