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Thursday, 7 March, 2002, 10:03 GMT
Street carnival cancelled
St Paul's Carnival
The procession attracts more than 50,000 people
Bristol's St Paul's Carnival has been cancelled for the first time in its 35-year history because it has become too big.

Organisers of the July event, which attracts 50,000 to the city, said the growth of the carnival had meant their resources had become over-stretched.

The event's committee said the cancellation is to allow discussions to take place about how the carnival can be developed so it can return.

But the cancellation has brought an angry response from some Bristol people

More events

Amirah Cole, chairwoman of the carnival committee, said: "We've worked hard to get funding for carnival projects and events, but it has been much more difficult to get support for training and extra staff.

"The fact the carnival happens each year is down to the hard work of a few association members who give their time freely throughout the year to plan and fund-raise.

"Carnival has grown so much that this is no longer sustainable."

A statement by the committee said in recent years more events had been added to the carnival schedule in the two-week build up to the event.

Future development

It added that "time should now be taken to discuss with local people how to develop carnival".

Ms Cole said: "This has been a very hard decision for all of us involved in carnival, but we feel that in the long-term this is the only option if carnival is to develop and be a well-organised and well-supported event - and one owned by the people of St Paul's.

"Carnival is an event we are all proud of.

"We hope that by taking this action now we can continue to deliver a safe and popular event in years to come."

But one carnival-goer called for action to be taken to prevent the cancellation.

'Outrageous' decision

"I think there will be a lot of trouble, there is going to be a lot of angry people," he said.

"Carnival has been going 30 years and basically this is the life and soul for most Bristolians and the black community.

"I just think it's a real shame, we have to do something about it."

But others could see the sense of the decision.

"I'm surprised and disappointed because I look forward to carnival every year," said one woman.

"But hopefully if it was to come back next year it would be better and improved."

There are plans to put on some of the events involving young people, which would have taken place as part of the carnival, during the summer.

See also:

24 Aug 01 | UK
Police fears over carnival
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