May 19 2013 Latest news:
by Flora Drury
Thursday, June 21, 2012
The Tottenham festival has been cancelled just two days before thousands were due to attend the popular event - but the parade will still go ahead.
In what seems like a repeat of last year, the festival - which was due to take place in Bruce Castle Park this Saturday - has been cancelled because of lack of funds, although people will still be able to enjoy the parade along the High Road and the funfair.
The Tottenham Carnival committee was forced to do the same thing in 2011 after police said they would no longer be able to patrol inside the grounds, sparking security concern – which in turn delayed making vital bookings and saw prices rise.
Chairman Nicky Price said the last-minute decision was taken to avoid “financial embarrassment”.
“We just ran out of funds. A lot of people gave us a lot of financial support, but the costs this year escalated to the point where we were funding things we never had to fund before.
“We are grateful to our sponsors, likes Spurs, Sainsbury’s and the council, but at the end of the day we didn’t have enough - and it is going to cost us money cancelling it still.”
Mr Price also announced he would be stepping down from his role as chairman after nine years.
“I think it needs some new blood. I’m not exactly young anymore, so I’m just going to take a quiet step back.”
But he was still excited by the prospect of the parade, which will begin - as always - on Eade Road at 11am before processing up Seven Sisters, along the High Road and up Bruce Grove.
Mr Price said: “The parade is still going ahead. We have lots of colourful costumes which, this year, are fantastic.”
Nevertheless, the news the afternoon’s festivities have been cancelled will be met with dismay by people in the local community.
Tottenham councillor Sheila Peacock - who helped start the carnival 15 years ago - said: “I am really sad about it. It’s bad because Tottenham people look forward to it.
“I just wish more companies could have put money into it.”
Haringey’s Liberal Democrat leader Richard Wilson is to ask the council - which has already given money towards the running costs - whether they can step in to save the festival.
He said: “Considering the events of last year, the council should be supporting grass-roots community projects to bring people together in Tottenham and I hope they will go the extra mile to save the festival.”