Northampton Carnival to return to Abington Park for the first time since the 1990s

Northampton Carnival is set to return to Abington Park for the first time in nearly 20 years in a move which will see its 1,000 strong parade head through a greater number of residential areas.

A new route and a new starting destination have been unveiled for the yearly event set to take place on Saturday June 13, which will take the floats along Wellingborough Road, before heading into the town centre.

The last three years we have not had somewhere to call a home

Morcia Walker MBE

On its return journey to Abington Park the parade will snake through residential areas such as Clarke Road and Wantage Road.

Organiser Morcia Walker of the Northampton Carnival Arts Consortium says the new route could bring a boost to the Wellingborough Road area and bring the carnival to more people’s doorsteps than ever before.

She said: “We are hoping to see people lining Wellingborough Road and we are hoping to see people out on the streets we pass watching the parade go by.

“There will be all sorts of entertainment in the park from noon as well.”

In recent years the carnival parade had been held at Delapre Park.

But in 2014 Northampton Borough Council told the organisers they could not use the land due to water drainage problems there.

Instead the committee was forced to move the carnival to Far Cotton Recreation Ground, just two weeks before the event was meant to take place.

There was also trouble on parade day itself, as town centre roadworks forced the procession route to be altered.

As a result, it created tailbacks when it had to make a three-point turn outside The Guildhall to make a tight turn into Fish Street.

Mrs Walker said the change of venue to Abington Park comes after a year of productive talks with the council.

“The last three years we have not had somewhere to call a home,” she said.

“That has led to all sorts of issues. Some of the stall traders even turned up at the wrong site last year.

“Far Cotton Rec was lovely, but it wasn’t practical, it was too small and there was an issue with car parking and accessing the site.”

Mrs Walker said letters will be distributed around the roads on the new carnival parade route prior to the event taking place. There are likely to be minor parking restrictions in place on the day, she added.

A carnival warm-up event is set to take place at 7.30pm The Picturedrome on Kettering Road on Friday, May 8, to promote this year’s event, which has a ‘storybook’ theme.

The evening is to feature demonstrations from dancers and singers due to perform at the carnival as well as a photographic display of previous years.

Any business owners who want to get involved in the carnival by donating a raffle prize, sponsoring part of the event, or any groups interested in having a float at the carnival can call committee stage manager Janet Gordon on: 07789373989

or email: northamptoncarnival@yahoo.co.uk.

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