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Carnival at the Castle 2014

Carnival day 2014 took place on Sunday 22 June 

Stalls, refreshments and entertainments took place at Hertford Castle.  Great bands and performers entertained the crowds, and a varied selection of stalls plied their wares to browsers.  The event had a great fun feel, and adults and children alike enjoyed a day in the sun.

Children were invited to celebrate the life of the young Elizabeth I, who spent time at the castle as a child.  The quiz and craft activities went down well, and the fancy dress competition was wonderful, with dozens of delightful princes and princesses showing off their superb costumes in the arena.

princes and princesses at the castle 2014

Photo courtesy of Steve Beeston photography

Various other events, such as the popular fun fair, also took place around the town.

It was a lovely community afternoon, and one that also raised approximately £4000 for local charities.

Everyone was invited to join in the fun, and around 5000 people came along to enjoy themselves on the day!

See the slideshows and full coverage here.

Participants, businesses and volunteers all played their vital parts in ensuing the day was a success, both on the day and for months in advance.  The day would not have happened without our sponsors and supporters, organisers and stewards.

THANK YOU to everyone who took part; those who helped, supported or sponsored, the stall-holders and the performers, and of course to everybody who came along on the day!  We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did!

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Why no procession and a smaller-scale event at Hertford Castle?

The initial plans for the Carnival involved the traditional procession through the town, and the stalls and entertainment planned for the larger venue of Hartham.  Following last year’s success, we did not anticipate issues.

Unfortunately we did not receive enough applications to make the procession viable.  This was due to a variety of reasons all occurring simultaneously, including insurance or organisations’ money issues, some of last year’s participants taking a year off etc.  There are certain costs incurred by a procession (these rise sharply in the month before), and obviously spectators like a certain number of entries.  With a month to go, participants preparing their floats, and issues such as road closures demanding confirmation, we simply did not have the numbers and had to make the sad decision to cancel the procession.

overview carnival day 2014

Photo courtesy of Bernard Groom

We also had a certain number of stalls, but not as many as 2013 when we had over 70 on the great expense of Hartham: we felt that a smaller number would be lost.

We informed those signed up immediately, but then spent a week carefully considering various options, eg cancelling the day completely, other venues, contacting stall-holders to see if they would take part in a different event.  We used our media in this period to inform people of the fact that things were changing but that the how was necessarily uncertain.  As soon as a new plan was formulated, it was circulated on the website and on twitter.

We are indebted to the support of Hertford Town Council, who stepped in at this late stage to offer their help.  They offered the Castle grounds, suggested and ran royalty-themed activities including the popular fancy dress competition, and extra personnel to help steward.  Without the Town Council’s support and the Castle venue, Carnival day simply would not have happened at all.

Ultimately, we worked long and hard to organise and put on an afternoon of fun for the community, and we are grateful to all those who participated (or wanted to participate), who supported us, and everyone who came along and enjoyed the day.

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Your town needs you for 2015!

We would like the next event to be a big community day in the traditional carnival way, ie with a procession!  However we will need a minimum number of floats to make it viable for costs and spectators. 

As usual, this one afternoon will take a great deal of organising, starting around October 14.  Please get involved in organising it! - help choose a theme, help select the charities to benefit, help round up business support and involvement.

If you want to take part, as either an organiser or participant or any other way, take a look at the numerous (2014 archived) options listed on the website. Then watch website, twitter feed and other media for updates, and/or contact us to register your interest or to tell us any ideas or comments on things you'd like to see happen.

There are so many ways to get involved, and Carnival day is only what the people of Hertford make it! 

Here’s hoping for a great day in the sun in 2015!

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Carnival 2014

See coverage of Carnival Day 2014, including;

Fancy dress comp; princes and princesses visit the Castle!



The charities who benefited this year

Sponsors and Supporters

Also see


The organisers

Press coverage

How to contact us

External links

Previous carnivals

Your town needs you in 2015!

Take a peek at ways you will be able to join in;

Join the procession

Run a stall

Perform in the arena

Or other ways;




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