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Organisers 'confident' carnival will go ahead
ORGANISERS of the Cowley Road Carnival last night said they were confident the popular festival would return this year, despite raising only a fraction of its cost so far.
The 11th annual carnival – pencilled in for Sunday, July 7 – is expected to need between £50,000 and £90,000.
But so far only £1,300 has been raised for a community event that attracts up to 30,000 people.
Trustee Karen David said: “We are confident we will find the funding. The vintage cinema night raised more than £1,300 in December and we have got three or four events coming up between now and the carnival. Everything is on track.”
She admitted there was “a lot” of money left to find but added: “We are in talks with various organisations for sponsorship.”
The popular carnival is returning to Cowley Road this year following a two-year absence. It was cancelled in 2012 because of Olympic and Diamond Jubilee celebrations and was based in South Park in 2011 to save more than £10,000 in security costs.
Ms David said: “We are working with community groups and encouraging people to organise their own events like street parties.”
Fundraising got off to a rocky start when organisers were forced to cancel their first fundraiser at the O2 Academy in November after just 73 tickets were sold. But after an evening of vintage cinema at the Ultimate Picture Palace in Jeune Street in December raised more than £1,300, it is hoped subsequent events will also be a success.
Ms David praised the support residents had given in the past.
She said: “It started as a community event for East Oxford and it became so popular that when regeneration funding ended the community still supported it.”
Aziz Rahman, who is hosting a fundraiser at his Cowley Road restaurant Aziz , said: “The carnival is important for all the businesses in Cowley Road. The food outlets do very well out of it.
“Most of all it creates a wonderful atmosphere. It is a great day out for the whole family.”
Andre Cummins, manager at George and Delila ice cream cafe, said: “We will definitely support it. It is good for the local economy.”
It is expected that costs this year will be lower than in previous years because organisers are planning to close a smaller section of the road, from Magdalen Road to Union Street.
- The Oxford Imps Comedy troupe: Pegasus Theatre, Magdalen Road. Tuesday, February 22. £7/ £6. Tickets from the box office, 01865 812150 or pegasustheatre.org.uk
- Zumba party: Blackbird Leys Leisure Centre. Sunday March 24 from 2-5pm, doors open 1.15pm. Tickets £10 for adults aged 16 and over and £5 for children aged 8-15. For more information email George Martini at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Fundraising dinner: Aziz, Cowley Road. April 16. Food from around the world, music, entertainment and raffle. Tickets from the restaurant or 01865 794945.