WITH less than one month until the Cowley Road Carnival its organisers are calling on traders in the street to help them reach its fundraising target.
Cowley Road Works, the charity behind the July 6 event, needs to raise £110,000 for the festival and it is understood it still has about £20,000 to go.
This year it hopes businesses in the road can contribute at least £10,000 towards the costs – many of whom benefit from the increased footfall on the day.
Only 35 of the 300 traders in Cowley Road have so far contributed and £5,600 is still left to be raised.
Elsewhere, the charity has received a £30,000 grant from Oxford City Council which was offered as a sum by the authority for three years.
The MINI plant in Cowley is also sponsoring the event – although the sum involved has not been made public. Wilmott Dixon, Oxford Brookes and Oxford University are also sponsors.
Carnival executive Danielle Battigelli said: “We need more support from the traders along the Cowley Road. Our thanks go out to the Cowley Road area traders who have already generously offered their support, both financially and in-kind by hosting and contributing to fundraising events.
“But we need more help from along the length and breadth of the carnival site.
“The Cowley Road will be closed for carnival from The Plain to the junction with Magdalen Road this year and, if we could rely on the support of every business in the road, we could safeguard the future of this event which does so much to celebrate our community.”
Last year, the charity had a target of £90,000 and each year faces a battle to raise the money.
In 2006 it was cancelled over fundraising problems and in 2009 had to be scaled back and moved to South Park.
Costs of the carnival include security, licences, first aid and the clean-up operation.
Businesses already supporting the event include Bar Aroma which supported a football “World Cup” fundraiser on Sunday which raised almost £1,500, and restaurants Aziz, Majliss, First Floor and Malikas.
Xhetan Bushi of Bar Aroma said: “It is such a joy to see a mixture of people from around the world attending and performing and celebrating on the day, turning Cowley Road into a colourful and vibrant place. I strongly believe this shouldn’t be taken away from people.
“I had the pleasure to join so many other people and businesses raising funds for the Cowley Road Carnival and I will do so every year.”
Abdul Shorkar from the First Floor restaurant, which will provide a disabled viewing area on carnival day, said: “The Cowley Road Carnival offers an opportunity to bring the local businesses and our community together within the East Oxford Area and beyond.”
Becky Hallsmith, owner of the Ultimate Picture Palace in Jeune Street, held a fundraising event in April.
She said: “Since I moved to Oxford in 2001, the carnival has been one the most enjoyable aspects of living in the area.
“It is such a vital part of the community and the cinema is always happy to do what it can to play its part in keeping the carnival going.”
Jagmohinder Lally, of the Cowley Road Post Office, said: “I have made my personal donation because I think that the carnival is a superb event which helps build community spirit.”
Traders wanting to offer support can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07941 482376.
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