Hale Carnival kicked off with a questions-and-answers slot with Paralympic wheelchair rugby gold medallist Kylie Grimes.

Children posed their questions to Kylie and enjoyed sharing the stage with her.

Jonathan Jones, Farnham’s former town crier, then once again donned his regalia to officially declare the carnival open!

It was a beautiful sunny day and Hale Green was swamped with local residents and families enjoying the festivities, along with freshly-cooked barbecue food, real ales, Pimm’s and gin served by the Hale Carnival committee and volunteers.

The children were entertained throughout the day in the very popular children’s tent, making crowns, enjoying sensory gunge and water play, and getting tattoos along with a magic show and balloon modelling by children’s entertainer Magic Charlie.

Face painting by Upper Hale councillor Catherine Powell proved very popular too, while John Connelly and his team provided some brilliant fairground rides adding to the excitement of the carnival.

Sadly, because of the pandemic, Hale Carnival was unable to run for the past two years so this was third time lucky – and what a turnout!

The atmosphere was electric, and the carnival committee said this was the busiest year they’d ever seen.

Committee chairman Martyn Winner said: “It was just fantastic to see so many of the community come together to enjoy our event.”

There have been many positive comments since, including Caline May saying: “Fab day, well done Hale Carnival!”

Melanie Bell added: “A massive thank you from Zoe and I from the Complementary Therapy School – we had a great time!”

Folly Hill School started the day’s entertainment with their Maypole dance in the arena, followed by the dog show. This year there were a staggering 75 entries, with many categories including ‘waggiest tail’ and ‘dog who looked most like their owner’. Well done to all who entered.

The carnival procession featured an array of creativity from local schools and groups around the area. They paraded down the hill and on to the green, singing and dancing with wonderful costumes and props.

The winners were:

  • Class A – Greenways nursery
  • Class B – Hale Primary School
  • Class D – Hale Youth Centre
  • Class E – John Price 1924 Singer
  • Best In Show – William Cobbett Primary School.

The procession ended with a selection of vintage cars and Spider-Man hanging from a police car window, causing much delight among the younger members of the audience!

Bands provided fantastic live music and got everyone up dancing throughout the day, including Achilles Heel, The Kings Pond Shantymen, Rockin Rogers, Late to The Party, Rock Choir, DJ stage set Audio Excursions and the fabulous headlining act, Keely and the Dealers.

The event was finished off with a spectacular fireworks display.

Alison Thicket summed it up best: “Great day, great finale, thank you!”

It really was a brilliant and very successful day for all. The food and drinks tents are run by the committee along with volunteers, so we are able to keep the costs low and affordable, especially during the current climate when the prices of everything have rocketed.

The focus of Hale Carnival is about bringing the community together, having fun with your family and friends and being accessible to all, rather than making money.

All the profit from the day goes back into putting on the carnival the following year and we donate a large chunk to local groups and charities.

To date we have donated more than £60,000 to local good causes. You can find out more on the Hale Carnival website halecarnival.co.uk

There are 13 committee members who are dedicated to putting the carnival together. But of course we couldn’t do it without the help from all our wonderful volunteers from putting up the tents to manning the stalls and picking up litter.

A huge thank you to all of you for helping to make Hale Carnival great!

Here’s to next year – looking forward to it already!

Report by Jacqui Price