Come and join the carnival parade in Skegness

‘We want everyone to know we are back!” That is the message from the organisers of Skegness Carnival as the countdown to this year’s popular annual event begins.

Janice Sutton's dancers are regulars at Skegness Carnival and hope to be there.
Janice Sutton's dancers are regulars at Skegness Carnival and hope to be there.

The pandemic has had a massive impact on carnivals up and down the coast – leaving them struggling to find marching bands due to them losing members and just not being ready to perform.

However, the past weekend still saw crowds turning our for the return of Chapel St Leonards carnival (see page 15) – and all hopes are pinned on this success being repeated in Skegness this weekend.

"We’ve got lots of floats and entertainers – we even managed to get a marching band,” said committee member Ady Findley. “It’s going to be the people’s parade so come and join us – it’s going to be amazing!”.

There is no shortage of nostalgia surrounding Sunday’s parade, which is billed to be ‘A Right Royal Celebration’.

TV and stage celebrity Dee Dee Lee, from Skegness, is planning to give a right royal performance by joining the parade in her Jubliee Union Flag gown.

Her appearance will be a tribute to her great granddad Fred Stamper, also a Variety entertainer, as it is 109 years after his most famous appearance in Skegness dressed as Ghandi.

Fred's amazing impersonation was so good no-one knew,” she said. “At the train station he had porters saluting him, red carpet, buffet, even police holding back crowds and traffic on Lumley Road.

"He only told everyone who he really was at the Pier Hotel. Everybody cheered. In the parade he raised a lot of money for Skegness Hospital.”

For Janice Sutton, who has always had floats in the carnival, this year’s parade will bring bitter-sweet memories of her late husband, Ivan.

"Sorting our carnival floats and all the publicity was something Ivan did for us every year,” said Janice. “We will certainly miss him – but we have the lorry booked are are hoping to be there.”

This year’s Carnival Parade on Sunday, August 14, starts from Tesco car park at 1pm. It them moves along Richmond Drive, Lumley Road and turns left at the Clock Tower to go along the sea front.

Anyone wishing to take part in the parade should go along to Tesco before 1pm.