THIS year could see the last Liphook Carnival as organisers say they can’t continue after a recruiting drive netted just one volunteer prepared to help.
As a result the committee has decided Liphook Carnival 2022 will be the last one they organise, in effect drawing to a close a tradition that goes back 120 years.
Sally Cameron, who took over as carnival committee chairman in March 2018, said: “We have held two recruiting meetings in The Links pub, and only one person came along and offered their services.
“There is just eight of us on the committee, it’s the same people organising it year in, year out, and we can’t go on.
“As a result we have agreed this will be the last carnival; we’re not organising any more.
“It’s desperately sad, but we have been doing it for years, and more volunteers are needed to help, and they just haven’t come forward.
“It seems the pandemic has drained all the community spirit, no-one wants to get involved, or is even prepared to help, which is really sad.”
And the annual events like the quiz night and sponsored walk that usually raise money to fund the carnival are also being cancelled this year.
Sally said: “The Family Fun Day at the Millennium Centre on July 16 will be the only event to go ahead.
“But the other fundraisers are being cancelled.
“Any money left over after Liphook Carnival 2022 – if it goes ahead – will be donated to Liphook Food Bank.”
Her uncertainty over this year’s event is down to insurance costs.
Sally added: “One of the first things we do is insure the event. Without the insurance we can’t hold it.
“But insurance costs have been rocketing and we may not be able to afford the premiums this year, so it may not go ahead; it appears that unknowingly Liphook Carnival 2019 may have been the last one.”
It is hoped an estimate for the insurance will be with the committee in the next week or so.
It will then be announced if this year’s carnival will go ahead.
The first parade and carnival procession was in 1902.
But the annual event was suspended during the First and Second World Wars, resuming in 1922 and 1947 respectively.
It was also suspended in 2020 and 2021 because of the pandemic.