SUMMER may seem like a long wait but preparations for this year’s Cowley Road Carnival are already under way.
The July event attracts tens of thousands of people every year and the charity behind it, Cowley Road Works says it needs to raise £110,000 for this year’s carnival – £40,000 more than last year.
Oxford City Council has already pledged £30,000, as it agreed to give for three years, starting last summer.
The Cowley Mini plant has not confirmed whether it will sponsor this year’s event – due to take place on Sunday July 6 – as it has in previous years. Bosses said a decision will be made soon.
The carnival, which was launched in 2001, returned to Cowley Road last year after a two-year absence.
This year, organisers want to extend it so it runs from Magdalen Road down to The Plain, rather than ending at Jeune Street as it did last year.
Fundraising has already started, with a cocktail masterclass and salsa evening held at Bar Aroma which made about £250.
Aziz Rahman, owner of Aziz restaurant in Cowley Road where he holds fundraising events, said: “We have been helping to fundraise for the carnival since it started.
“We are proud to be able to help and we hope other businesses will be able to play their part. Many businesses on the street benefit from the carnival so it would be good for them to help us in the run up to the day.”
Last year he helped to raise £10,000 for the event.
Executive director of Cowley Road Works, Danielle Battigelli, said she hoped more of the street’s businesses would come forward to help with the fundraising.
She said: “There is always a risk that the carnival won’t be able to go ahead.
“Whatever amount of money we raise, we will put on a carnival that reflects that.
“If we don’t raise the full amount the event will just have to be scaled down.”
The charity is hoping to expand the free event into surrounding community areas off Cowley Road, such as Manzil Way Gardens, so not everything is on the street.
On March 18, a fundraising dinner will be held at Majliss Indian restaurant in Cowley Road and there will be a live music and film night at the Ultimate Picture Palace on April 25.
WHAT IT COSTS
- Online donations can be made through The Big Give link on the website – cowleyroadcarnival.co.uk – and text donate by texting CRNV14 £10 (or chosen amount) to 70070.
- 2013: £70,000. Carnival attracted 35,000 people and generated estimated £500,000 for the local economy
- 2012: No carnival s 2011: £120,000 for event in South Park, including Fiesta in the Park concert the night before carnival
- 2010: £150,000 for Carnival both in South Park and on Cowley Road, and Fiesta in the Park concert on the night before Carnival