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Newbury Carnival organisers hope to jingle all the way

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The Christmas Carnival at Newbury Racecourse could be back on the cards – with an ice rink, a big top, thrill rides, market stalls and a Santa’s Grotto.

The idea was drummed out of town last year, but festival organisers say they have "taken on board concerns raised by some" and have now put in another application to run the five week event this year.

They have asked for a temporary licence from West Berkshire Council – for just one year after previous efforts for an annual licence were rejected.

Winter Wonderland
Winter Wonderland

The proposed site for the carnival is at the centre of the racecourse.

Organisers say the event is unique to the area and will be a safe and welcoming haven where visitors can come together to celebrate and enjoy a Christmas Carnival.

They say the event will be specially curated to ensure there is something for everyone on site, especially families.

Admission will be by ticket only, which, organisers say, will ensure that visitor numbers are controlled and staggered to create a steady flow throughout the day rather than at concentrated peak times.

The vast majority of tickets are to be purchased in advance, with the remaining tickets available for sale at the box office at the site entrance.

The proposed period of the Christmas Carnival will be from late November until early January, a period of five to six weeks.

On non-race days the event is expected to start at 10am and close at 8pm to 9pm on Sundays to Wednesdays and at 10pm on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

There are usually four race days during the period when the carnival would be held. All of the scheduled race days will continue as normal with the carnival opening after the last race at 4pm.

Locals living close to the site have been leafleted by organisers who are trying to put the show on again, after West Berkshire Council said no, no, no rather than ho, ho, ho to the event last year.

Noise, traffic and nuisance were key objections.

The letter says: “While we were disappointed our last application was refused… We appreciate some of the concerns regarding potential impact of noise, how the event will be accessed and how parking would be managed.

“We would like to reassure you that we have taken on board the concerns raised by some of you through the previous application.”

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