Festival and carnivals 

In the coming edition of The Progressive Party magazine, there will be a section on summer festivals.

A couple of years ago in the very same magazine, my wife (Julia Brett) wrote an article highlighting the tradition of carnivals in the UK. That tradition often goes further back than many European countries yet it is very underplayed.

That said there are still hundreds of carnivals and festivals throughout the UK especially in the summer months. It is one of the areas where local party retailers can outwit the Internet. Local retailers should have the ‘local’ knowledge that no online operator can hope to provide. This would be especially true in parts of the south west where there is a huge tradition of local festivals. Many of which  were originally started by purveyors of historical oddities like ‘cure all’ elixirs. They created the festivals in order to bring potential customers from outlying rural areas.

There used to be numerous street festivals in London only dating back to the fifties and sixties. Yet many of these have diminished over recent years. The suggestion would be that the local party store could be a fulcrum for re-establishing these events. The timing is right. Many of these areas are very multicultural and as few of these events have any religious implications, they would be great ways  of developing community cohesion. Notting Hill carnival  was created out of a community wanting to establish it’s identity. Now it is one of the worlds largest.

Many of us in the supply side, who have any knowledge of the European market are envious of the  carnival season. In this months Progressive Party , the editorial recognises this opportunity, even though there is an odd comment about whether our weather is suitable. Not quite sure,to what this refers, as most of this happens in Northern Europe, in February and outside, where it can  be  a flipping sight  colder than it is here (sorry Jacqui!). Where we do currently fall down is the quality of our dress up. Particularly in Germany hundreds of Euros can be spent on buying very well made product. Part of the reason is that the wearer is going to be celebrating outside in early February!

Whilst there is no tradition of this form of carnival in the UK, there is no reason what so ever that we could not try and introduce it. After all we introduced Halloween, we are starting to embrace Oktoberfest , we have taken on Diwali and Eid , and now we are enjoying ‘day of the dead'(see banner image) Bring on pre lent carnival, it may have catholic and pagan origins , but so do we!

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