Everything you need to know ahead of Diss Carnival 2019
PUBLISHED: 09:00 08 June 2019 | UPDATED: 09:15 08 June 2019
Diss will become the land that time forgot when the annual carnival takes place this weekend, turning back the clocks to a time when dinosaurs ruled the Earth.
Diss Carnival 2019 has a theme of Pre-Diss-Toric and there will be lots of dinosaur and Stone Age fun and actvities throughout the day.
When is it taking place?
The hugely popular annual community day is this year taking place on Sunday, June 9. Highlight of the day will, as ever, be the procession that starts from Diss High School at 12.30pm and travels down Mount Street and Market Place to Mere Street before heading to Diss Park where the Fun Day festivities will be hosted by Park Radio.
What is this year's theme?
This year it boasts a fun pun-laden Stone Age theme of Pre-Diss-Toric — so expect plenty of dinosaur and cavemen themed costumes and floats. The Fun Day in Diss Park will also have lots of events and activities with dinosaur links. Thew town has already had a touch of being transformed into the land that time forget thanks to the window dressing competition with displays including everything from roaring T-Rex to Tyrone O'Saurus, a cavemen knitted from wool.
Who are the Carnival King and Queen?
After a break without carnival royalty, the tradition has been revived for 2019 and care home residents Gordon Campbell, 77, and Barbara Ward, 91, were selected by staff at De Lucy House. They will be involved in the procession together with follow De Lucy residents who will be dressing-up as characters from the Flintstones and decorating their wheelchairs to look like the cars from the popular 1960s cartoon.
What will the procession involve?
It will be packed with all manner of floats, displays, bands, acrobats and dancers — most with a prehistoric flavour. For many years Pete Gillings, often known as PG, was a central figure, his iconic PG2 number-plated car leading the procession as he chauffered the many Carnival Kings, Queens, Town Mayors and even Dinsdale Duck. Mr Gillings sadly died last October, but his daughter Toni Gillings, will be continuing the tradition. Co-op Funeralcare will be filling their rainbow-coloured hearse with balloons for the parade and if you can guess the number of balloons, you could win afternoon tea with processcco for two. All monies raised will be going to Pete Gillings' favoured charities, in his memory.
What are the canival procession prizes?
The parade will be judged by Diss Mayor Sonia Browne, Matthew Conway of Dipple & Conway, and Jim Bidwell, this year's Diss Honoured Citizen. They'll be looking for Best Float, Best Walking Group, while in his memory the new "The Pete Gillings Trophy" will be awarded to the most flamboyant entrant. Trophies will be awarded in the main arena around 2.10pm.
Who is this year's carnival host?
Actor, performer, puppeteer and Norfolk dialect performer, Paul Preston Mills is a man of many talents and he will be overseeing the main area fun, with help from the Park Radio team.
What will be happening in the main fun day area in Diss Park?
Events with a pre-historic flavour will include the Natural History Museum's travelling museum, the UK's largest travelling collection of fossils and dinosaur replicas including an animatronic T-Rex. Also harking back to prehistory will be world renowned flint master and prehistoric survival expert Will Lord, who grew up on the English Heritage site of Grimes Graves, the prehistoric flint mine in Norfolk.
What else can we expect?
Creatures of a less extinct kind will be on display with Bryan Paterson and his qualified team bring wildlife displays including a wide variety of animals. Other main arena events will include the Rodeo Bull and Pole Joust making their return having been last seen in 2017, the Taiko Drummers, Vibe City Brass Band and the Fun Dog Show (£2 per entry with categories including hansomest dog, prettiest bitch, golden oldie and best rescue). The Carnival Games take place throughout the afternoon with a finale at 5.15pm. Plus all the usual fun, stalls and entertainment.
Will roads be closed and where can I park?
There are no roads closed specifically for the carnival, however there will be a rolling closure whilst the procession weaves its way along the route. Town car parks will operate as normal on a Sunday but both Tesco and Morrison's have lifted their car park restrictions to accommodate parking for the carnival. Please feel free to use either car park.