When I saw that my friend Clare had taken her family to a carnival in Penrith in Cumbria, I was a bit surprised. I’ve always associated carnivals with summertime but actually it seems that the people of Penrith like to get the party started early in the year, holding their May Day Carnival on the first Saturday in May each year. Organised and hosted by volunteer-run Penrith Lions Club, the event is now in its 35th year.
I asked Clare if she would mind sharing a few photos of the parade itself and penning (or typing, as the case may be) a few thoughts on their experience of the day. Here’s what she had to say:
Penrith Carnival, what a fantastic experience. There were huge crowds of people and the atmosphere was buzzing. We saw a traditional bag pipe band, horse and carriage for the May Day queens, fair rides, fair stalls and then the carnival parade itself . Penrith Lions did the town proud. Everyone was smiling,the float procession was fantastic, there were tractors and vintage cars too. The Methodist Church congregation dressed up as sheep with a wolf running around chasing after them. The fire engines and mountain rescue were giving up their time too; it felt like a carnival should. They hold the carnival on the first Saturday in May every year. We as a family would highly recommend it!
There certainly seems to be something for everyone in the Penrith May Day celebrations, and in addition to the attractions listed above, you would also find:
- Punch and Judy
- Langwathby Maypole Dancers
- Muphoric Circus
- Bishops Yard School of Dance
- Penrith Stars
- Moky Fit
- Zig Zag
- Morpeth Pipe Band
- Cobra Fit
- Emily Richardson & Josh Jackson
- Crowning of May Queen
- Studio K Dance
- Grand Parade
- Live Music – The Hoo
A little bit about Penrith Lions Club
Penrith Lions Club was founded in 1975 and we currently have 34 members from all walks of life. During our last financial year we raised and donated more that £18000 to charitable causes both locally and internationally.
Like other clubs our membership comprises people who willingly give their own precious time and energy to raise money and/or assist those others in the community who are less fortunate than ourselves.We are all willing volunteers.
We raise funds with our May Day Carnival, annual golf competition, Santa’s sleigh round Penrith, collecting and distributing Christmas cards in Penrith and providing manpower at local shows and a number of other initiatives.
We help local families in distress, take senior citizens on outings and to concerts, provide opportunities for young people to better themselves. We are deeply involved with Eden District Talking Newspaper which provides a weekly tape for 120 blind or partially sighted people. We provided physical and financial help to the citizens of Carlisle following the floods in 2005. Many Lions Clubs from Great Britain also contributed funds to help with our efforts in Carlisle.
Each month we have a social event where members and their partners can relax and enjoy themselves. These events include barbecues, wine tasting, games nights, walks and visits to interesting places.
Do you have a Lions Club for your area? Maybe something similar? I think I’ll be looking up our local one to see what events they’re planning in the local area.
Have you been somewhere brilliant and want to share it with readers of That Lancashire Lass? I’d love to feature your day out just like I have here with Clare’s family trip to Penrith. To get involved, email firstname.lastname@example.org.