The future of Diss Carnival beyond 2016 has been thrown into uncertainty after the mass retirement of most of its committee.
At yesterday’s Diss Carnival committee meeting, its co-ordinator and talisman Doreen Collins has stepped down along with committee members Jim Collins, Mick and Diane Brown, Steve Flatman and John Hutton.
Mrs Collins stressed that the 2016 Carnival, on Sunday, June 12, is not affected.
Mrs Collins, who has led the organising of the event since its reincarnation in 2008, said there were “many reasons” for the retirement of the committee members, and said: “Possibly it is now time for some new blood. We have all held our heads up high and everyone has done a fantastic job over the last nine years.
“It is now time to look for new ideas and give people the opportunity to ‘do different’.”
“We will all do everything we can to make this year’s Carnival great and really go out on a high.
“This was not a sudden decision.”
The committee was also hit about six weeks ago with the resignation of two other members, Karen Johnson and Chris Moyse, who is known locally as being one of the main figures behind fledgling south Norfolk radio station Park Radio.
The Diss Express understands the committee is now just two-strong, with Basil Abbott, who is also Diss Museum manager, and Horace Bunton, a former Diss police inspector.
It is likely Diss Town Council, which supports the hosting of the Carnival, will now have to help facilitate the recruitment of a new committee.
Mrs Collins’ loss will be keenly felt and the loss of almost all of the long-established Carnival committee members represents the end of an era.
Mrs Collins’ year-round tireless work in helping to organise the Carnival was recognised when she was named an Honoured Citizen of Diss in 2011 with her “passion and energy” for the event praised by Diss Town Council.
Diss Carnival this year has the usual parade through the town centre, with a theme of celebrating the Queen’s 90th birthday.
Following on is the fun day on the park in the afternoon at Diss Town Football Club, and after listening to feedback last year the entry for adults is just £1, with children under 16 getting in free.
There will be the usual mix of stalls and entertainment including a magician, spider mountain climbing attraction, and a static speeding cycling game.
The committee can still be contacted as normal regarding the 2016 carnival.
To find out more, visit the Carnival website: http://www.diss-carnival.co.uk/