By Binzy Reynolds:
Bude carnival is always fun, (in fact most carnivals I have attended have been fun), so I gladly took the opportunity to participate in Bude carnival this year.
As part of BRAG, (Bude Rubbish Action Group), we weren’t actually in fancy dress, but wore yellow high-viz vests and carried pickers and binbags. Easily confused with the hard working marshals, more than one of us were asked details about the carnival procession.
Paul and Laila Crum had worked so hard to ensure everything ran like clockwork, and after a temporary gathering at the wharf, around twenty of us were herded into the makeshift ‘sheep pens’ in the castle grounds to be judged then photographed as part of the ‘Masquerade’ class. A magnificent banner made by Ali Rowe from spare high-viz material and rubbish was proudly held aloft and the youngsters among us had cute little tabards made by Lyn Carr. Thanks so much for your efforts, ladies. We were proud to receive third prize in our class and after a quick discussion it was agreed to donate our prize money to Light Up Bude. While BRAG gratefully accepts donations of useful equipment, such as litter pickers, high-viz vests, hoops and binbags, we do not accept money due to problems accounting for it.
As the floats moved off from the wharf, we waited in front of the Bude Light before being slotted into the procession just in front of the guys from BED nightclub. The atmosphere was amazing and I have never seen so many people lining the streets. Many of us were bopping along to the music as we picked up litter along the route. Bystanders were asked if they had any rubbish to get rid of which soon started filling our bin bags. Whenever the procession stopped it provided a chance to dive into the crowds and collect cigarette butts, fast food packaging, and sweet wrappers. It was also a pleasure to hear comments from the crowd thanking BRAG for all the hard work they do around the town.
I dearly wish I could have seen every participating float, but sadly I missed quite a few. Before the procession moved off, I did manage a quick look round the crowded wharf.
Thanks to everyone on the carnival committee, all their helpers, the marshals for escorting us and sorting out any muddles, the police for closing the roads to keep us all safe and everyone else involved with the organisation. Thanks also to the participants for the fantastic standard of their floats this year, the general public for watching and all the kind donations collected in our buckets.