Shaldon Water Carnival
Shaldon Water Carnival
Every year the Shaldon Water Carnival Committee put on an event to rival the most eccentric of ceremonies. Somewhere between a carnival and a regatta, the Shaldon Water Carnival provides a day of creative explosions, colourful entertainment and nautical brilliance. It is difficult to encapsulate exactly what the carnival entails, as there is a myriad of events throughout the day. The earlier stages of the celebrations take place on Ferry Beach, but it is far from a conventional trip to the seaside. Beach competitions of many natures are among the highlights of the day, along with an assortment of stalls. The carnival makes the absolute most of Shaldon’s seaside location, by offering activities such as sand sculpturing and crab collecting. The kids will love it, whether they want to take part in the fancy dress parade or get down to some quiet painting, they are catered for. Adults are not forgotten though, chef demonstrations and craft stalls run throughout the day. The money raised goes towards local clubs, charities and organisations which are often connected to young people and most years the total reaches in the region of £2000. Shaldon Water Carnival is the personification of community spirit, wherein for one day in August normal responsibilities are dropped and the town comes together for a day of merriment.
The undeniable highlight of the carnival is the Water Carnival Parade. Although this is equipped with the usual floats, sweets and marches, there is another element that makes it particularly special. Annually, a spectacle of decorated boats descends upon the ‘Shaldon Pool’ of the Teign Estuary. Everyone is encouraged to get involved in the decoration, and past years have seen everyday fishing boats transformed into anything from ducks, rainbows and castles to Batman’s automobile. This kaleidoscopic display attracts thousands of spectators year on year.
In the evening, the celebrations move over to The Green, where a children’s disco takes the night by storm. Add to this a BBQ and live music, and this West Country Carnival goes well into the night, and offers the optimum South Devon experience to children and families alike. The carnival has been running for over 50 years now, and attendance is as great as ever. If you’re around on the first Saturday of August, there is unlikely to be a more vibrant event to be found.
The Water Carnival Committee is also in charge of running other events. The Spring Fete offers a novel take on the Whitsun Bank Holiday, as Shaldon crowns its Carnival Queen and her princesses. For the first two years of the festival, it would be a King Neptune, who was often a fisherman, who was crowned. Festivities continue deep into the winter with the Winter Ball, as well as the traditional three legged fancy dress race around the village’s pubs on Boxing Day. The committee of volunteers are busy concocting novel events all year round, so if you’re in Shaldon, it’s worth checking out what they’re working on next.
Please check the events section for dates each year.
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Events - Shaldon Village
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