Tuning up for new-look Witney Carnival with evening music event

Oxford Mail: Carnival committee chairman Ron Spurs, centre, with committee members and sponsors, including Yarrow Davies, of Base 33, front, right Buy this photo Carnival committee chairman Ron Spurs, centre, with committee members and sponsors, including Yarrow Davies, of Base 33, front, right

A MUSIC stage aimed at youngsters will be set up to attract a new audience at this year’s Witney Carnival.

The show, called The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, features local acts and has been organised by former Ibiza-based DJ James Condon, 35, who lives in Jacobs Mill, Witney.

Mr Condon said: “I’ve always attended the carnival since I was a small child but when I got to between 16 and 18 there was nothing really that attracted me to go along so I wanted to put something on for that age group.

“It’s a good chance to celebrate some good music.”
Organisers say they want teenagers to feel part of the festivities, as well as families and young children, at The Leys recreation ground on Saturday, July 12.

There will also be the usual attractions, including tug of war, dance, comedy and dog shows, classic cars, stalls and fairground rides, with up to 8,000 people expected to attend the free event.

Witney Rotary Club organising committee chairman Ron Spurs said: “We’re having an evening event for young people to go and enjoy some local bands.

“We haven’t done that for a number of years but we’re conscious of the fact that the carnival was aimed at families and young children so we’re looking at those people in the middle age group.

“They are too old to go on donkey rides but too young to go to the pub and if you ask any young people they will always say there’s a lack of things for them to do.”

There will be about 35 floats from schools, community groups and local businesses, who will be judged for the best fancy dress – based on a fairytale them – at 10am.

At 11am they will start a procession at The Leys, where it will also end, parading around Church Green, Corn Street, Hollow Way, Welch Way, High Street and Market Square, before the carnival is launched at 12.30pm.

The carnival, which is supported by the Witney Gazette, is run by the Rotary Club, The Lions Club of Witney, Witney Round Table and the Witney Air Cadets, raising money for causes including Witney youth charity Base 33 and Charlbury-based Special Effect, which helps disabled children through video games.

Mr Spurs, who is also a community safety and licensing officer at West Oxfordshire District Council, said: “It’s certainly the biggest event in Witney in terms of numbers who attend and it’s great having a significant proportion of the population together.”

From Ibiza to Witney

The music stage, called the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, will be held in a green and white marquee and will include local bands and DJs.

The line-up includes: The Standard, Stu Foster, Nathan Hamm/James Condon, Kurtain Twycher aka Ryan Asbo, Andy James and Sam Edney, DJ Nelly, DJ D and DJ Jax, Joe Truby and Paul, ST8, Crash Test and Vader

  • Carnival programmes are on sale at venues around the town and for more details of the event, see witneylions.org.uk or the Rotary Club's website.

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