A busy Chesterfield mum is rewriting the town’s history by bringing back its annual carnival after 25 years.
Maria Davison, aged 32, has spent the last nine months tirelessly organising Chesterfield Carnival which will return to Stand Road Park this Saturday.
The popular community event first began in the 1960s and remained a key date in locals’ social calendars up until 1989.
Keen to resurrect the much-loved carnival and the great community spirit that came along with it, Maria has created an event that will evoke fond memories in adults, and create new memories for youngsters in the area.
“The initial idea was very small,” said Maria. “A friend of mine’s wife had recently passed away at Chesterfield’s Ashgate Hospice following a terminal illness.
“I wanted to do something in her memory but also to help thank Ashgate Hospice for the amazing care she received while there.
“I started organising a small gala on Stand Road Park but then someone mentioned it was the 25th year since the carnival had taken place on the same park and so I started looking into the history of the event.
“It was a huge event, loved by so many people, that had great community spirit, so I thought what better time to bring it back.”
Maria’s event has now grown from a few stalls to a full family fun day, complete with a traditional opening parade at 11am.
Maria added: “The parade was originally led by the Chesterfield Musketeers show band so we’ve invited them back this year to guide the parade to the park where the event will be opened officially by the original founder of the carnival, Trevor Oldfield.”
In addition to the parade, visitors of all ages can enjoy an exciting array of stalls, games, activities and entertainment.
Highlights include carnival royalty in the form of the Chesterfield Carnival Queen with her Muskies and Maidens, Proctors Fun Fair, a dog show, mini zoo and a challenge zone, complete with simulator, rodeo bull and gladiator duel.
In the evening there will be a carnival after-party at Real Time Live on Marsden Street, where a number of local bands will perform.
Tickets will be available to purchase on the door.
Maria said: “From a little idea I had when I was hoping to get around 250 people to attend, the local area has backed me wholeheartedly and together we have transformed this into being a huge event on everybody’s calendars.
“We are now expecting more than 10,000 people to attend and the event looks set to be the largest carnival seen by many for a long time.
“I’ve lived, breathed and slept the carnival for the past nine months so I’m excited to see it all come together now.”