No royalty to lead this year’s Grantham Carnival parade

Kerry and Shelby Walker with Mayor of Grantham Jacky Smith at last year's parade.
Kerry and Shelby Walker with Mayor of Grantham Jacky Smith at last year's parade.
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There will be no Carnival Princess to lead this year’s parade, for the first time in its 31-year history.

A sharp decline in entrants over recent years has led to the decision by the Grantham Carnival and Events Group to pull the competition.

But it hopes to find a way to reinstate the contest in a different form next year to continue the tradtion.

Carnival committee chairman Roy Wright said: “The take-up over the past couple of years has been at a level we didn’t feel was competitive so we decided to pull it and possibly think of other ways of introducing a similar competition for next year.

“I think it’s such a shame, a sad loss really, for the spectacle of the day. But we didn’t want to do things half-heartedly.

“We need some sort of competition and we’ll look to do something again next year.”

In the carnival parade’s first year, a Carnival Queen led the parade followed every year thereafter by a Carnival Princess.

A partnership between the Journal and carnival committee, the competition attracted dozens upon dozens of entries, all of whom were invited to a glittering competition night.

The girls treated it as an opportunity to get dressed up, many in ball gowns, and talk about themselves, their hobbies and their love for Grantham.

Sadly, entries dropped over the years and in a bid to inject new life into it, last year’s competition was for a Carnival Queen and Carnival Princess to lead the parade together.

Winners were Grantham mother and daughter Kerry and Shelby Walker. A huge supporter of the carnival, Kerry expressed her disappointment that there will be no carnival royalty this year.

She said: “I do think it’s a shame. I hope there will be a Carnival Princess competition next year and that it is well supported.

“Shelby still talks about it now and likes to remind people she’s the Carnival Princess!”