The Carnival has been a highlight of the year in Witney since 1928, when it was first started by the then British Legion (now Royal British Legion). It was originally held on King George’s Recreation Field at Newland, and most local firms such as Early’s Blanket Factory and schools would decorate a float for the procession – much the same as today.
Carnival came to a halt after the outbreak of the Second World War but in 1988 it was revived by Witney Lions, Witney Rotary Club, Witney Round Table and Witney Rugby Club. After restarting it was more a fete than a carnival and was held at Cogges. More recently it has been held on the Leys and continues to flourish as the town’s most popular family event and entry remains FREE.
The Carnival is organised by four Witney Clubs - Lions, Rotary, Round Table and the Air Training Cadets. On this page you will find out more about each of these organisations.
The Rotary Club of Witney. Our aim is to provide an annual event which is free and which can be enjoyed by the whole family. The Procession is always a colourful attraction and there is lots of entertainment, for all ages, on the Leys. All the profits made from the stalls and other attractions is used to support the local community. This year we hope to be running our ever popular Prosecco and Pimm's Bar and Burger stall. If you would like to know more about Rotary please visit our web site. www.witneyrotary.org
Witney Lions Club. The Carnival is now the largest community family event in the town. Preparations start well before the actual day. The day before the Carnival our members erect 6 x 12m marquees and two gazebos. Who would have thought that the Witney Lions Fun Run, with a few trade and charity stalls would grow into Witney Carnival? Our Club has now achieved 47 years of continuous service to the local community and as members of Lions International we are part of the largest organisation in the world. If you would like to join us please visit our web site: www.witneylions.org.uk
Witney Round Table. Last year’s Carnival was another great success not only giving thousands of people a wonderful day out but also raising money for local charities and good causes. The Round Table works closely with the Rotary Club, Lions Club and Air training Corps in the spirit of giving something back to the community. Being a member of Round Table is also about having fun, making new friends and trying something new and exciting. If you would like to get involved you can find us at the Donkey Derby or Beer tents or you can get in touch with us via Facebook or Twitter. Here’s hoping for good weather! Web site: firstname.lastname@example.org
No 2120 (Witney) Squadron are proud to be involved with the Witney Carnival. This year our cadets will help by acting as guides, picking up litter and, most importantly, as bodies to help whenever they are needed. We have been working with young people in the town for many years and today’s cadets continue to be an important part of the community. Our cadets are members of one of the biggest youth groups in the country and cadets are able to enjoy a wide range of activities including Flying Scholarships, public services, sports or adventure training. Web site: http://www.witneyaircadets.co.uk/