A week or so ago when I was driving to my parents, I spotted a banner advertising that Denton carnival 2014 would be taking place on 14 September.
When I was younger the carnival was always good fun – there was a parade with loads of floats and I know at least a couple of years the pubs used to have competitions to dress themselves up. When I was in secondary school the Graphic Design teacher used to get us making stuff for her local pub to display. It was great to have a real community event.
There was always a funfair on the playing fields and car park and lots of stuff going on aroud the town centre; a true family day.
The area has changed a lot since I was at school – the playing fields have in part been built over and the other part is now fenced off for (I think) a local football team. The car park is now home to a subway, vets and a Barnardos shop. There is a large Morrisons that was built a good few years back and there is also now a huge retail area with a McDonalds, Marks & Spencer, Tesco home, TK Maxx etc on.
I thought I would take the children along – it would be something different to do and a nice way to spend our Sunday afternoon, I thought it might be all a bit naff, but that Daniel and Emma might enjoy it a little. I wasn’t sure what it would be like given how the town has changed so much since I was young.
|Choosing our spot for the parade|
We started with the parade – it was actually really good. The Brass Band started it off and were excellent (as they always are) The Mayor and Mayoress followed behind and I was really impressed to see the MP for the area, Andrew Gwynne (and a local man too) walking in the parade. Other floats and walking groups included various Dance Troupes, Brownies and Scouts, the theatre art group and New Charter Housing Association. Daniel was even fortunate enough to be given a fab little owl toy from the Housing Association team!
After we watched the parade we headed into the town centre and I was amazed at just how busy it was, I think all of Denton must have been there! It was a little too busy for Daniel in parts so we headed over to the retail park to get a bite to eat. It was really noticeable the complete absence of anything carnival related going on there. A little sad really that they hadn’t got involved in any way shape or form.
The local park had stalls, inflatable slides and loads of other things going on – we didn’t really have the chance to explore as Daniel’s little legs were getting a bit tired (We had opted to walk with me carrying Emma in the Ergo rather than take the pushchair).
All in all it was a brilliant day – and Denton should be proud of itself, especially the groups that walked in the parade. It’s too easy to moan that nothing happens where you live, but if you are fortunate enough to have a local parade or carnival then going along and support your community, you might be surprised at just how good it is.
It was the small volunteer based groups, and small businesses that really made today what it was. I hope that the likes of Tesco, Morrisons, Sainsburys, BHS, Marks & Spencer and the such that are happy to employ and take money from the local community think about participating in future events – it would be brilliant to get their support and really make it a big community effort.
I went along today expecting it to be a bit naff and half expected to see hardly anyone lining the streets for the parade. I was wrong. Today, Denton, you really did yourself proud.
|Daniel’s Owl and a sleepy Emma|