Young are to secure future of parade

Spalding Flower Parade 2013 (Springfields)'ACCORDION
Spalding Flower Parade 2013 (Springfields)'ACCORDION
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Plans for next year’s Spalding People’s Parade are marching ahead after a team of supporters met for the second time.

Passions ran high on Tuesday night as 22 enthusiasts eager to be part of a new organising committee put forward their ideas of what they would like to see in the new parade.

Supporters included members of Spalding and district Chamber of Commerce, Lions and Rotary groups, and representatives of the Scouts and the High School.

Phil Scarlett, Chamber president, said: “It was a very positive meeting. Everyone put forward what they would like to see and afterwards we were able to highlight some common factors.”

The discussion followed a public meeting last month about what people would like to see replace Spalding Flower Parade,

Chaired by MP John Hayes, there was a call for a People’s Parade during the same May Bank Holiday as the flower parade and for it to start and finish in Spalding.

Mr Scarlett said: “There was a lot of support for the current flower floats to be given to villages for use in their own carnivals and perhaps for them to be used as static displays in places like Ayscoughfee Hall during ours.

“Another common ground is that it should be a walking parade and include schools and young people to secure its future.

“We are also looking at it being over a shorter distance so that the market in the town centre can continue to operate and to include the river bank in the route, which is an iconic part of Spalding.”

A steering group to take plans forward is due to meet in the next three weeks, but it is unlikely the final plans will be revealed until September.

Working on a fraction of the flower parade’s £250,000 budget, the group is hoping then to attract backers.

Mr Scarlett said: “Additional events are being discussed – such as a beer festival or a concert – where an entry fee can be charged which will help the event become sustainable. Funding for these things doesn’t grow on trees, but in September we are hoping to have a plan in place to attract backers.”