VIDEO: Diss Carnival committee go out on a high with 2016 event
Sunday’s Diss Carnival marked the end of an era, being the last one organised by the committee which helped to resurrect the civic event in 2008.
Themed around the life of the Queen, the all-important weather looked threatening all day, but when they came, the rain showers were mercifully brief.
Almost all of the Carnival committee, led by its co-ordinator, the energetic Doreen Collins, signed off with another successful event, with the streets packed and the Fun Day at Diss Town Football Club busy.
Led by Diss Town Clerk Deborah Sarson, dressed as Her Majesty, and the Smokehouse Blue Marching Band, the parade set off from Old High Road, making its way down St Nicholas Street, Market Hill, Mere Street, Park Road, and Denmark Street where it dispersed.
There was some confusion among crowds about a third of the way in to the procession when a large gap opened up between the floats, causing some to think the procession had ended. But the distant banging of drums from the Norwich Samba signalled it wasn’t finished yet.
Crowds then made their way to the football ground to take part in the fun and entertainment with games, stalls, activities, music and food all part of the mix.
Diss radio station Park Radio kept the audience updated, while musicians played under the shelter of a football stand.
Other attractions included a owl displays, a farrier at work, bouncy castles and slides, imitation sword fighting from specialists Ironheads, circus skills with Bazza Bizarre, young Diss football freestyler Joãozinho Rangel, a spider mountain climbing structure and a static speed cycling competition from Rollapaluza.
The committee members announced they were retiring from their roles a month ago, having felt they had taken it as far as they could and citing the need for new ideas.
Mrs Collins, reflecting on her final ever Diss Carnival said: “For my last one, I think we’ve gone out on a high.
“I think it is the right time now for somebody younger, with different ideas to push it on and do something different.
“I did feel a little bit of sadness as I came down Market Hill and saw the huge amount of people there. I suddenly thought: ‘This is my last one.’
“It’s a very small but dedicated committee. I think we’ve achieved a huge amount over the past nine years.
“But we have enjoyed it, and we wouldn’t have done it for nine years if we didn’t.”
Mrs Collins said the committee had proven year after year that a financially sustainable and successful Carnival is possible in Diss.