The cancellation of this year’s Caribbean Carnival procession in Preston has sparked a public outcry from fans of the annual street spectacle.
Scores of supporters and performers have taken to social media to express shock and dismay at the decision to cut the colourful cavalcade - now in its 42nd year - and hold only a “static” event on the Flag Market on June 11.
And both the city council and the county council have come under attack for failing to back the event with funding - even though both authorities are struggling to pay for even essential services due to withering government budget cuts.
Lisa Jayne, leader of the Spectrum troupe who perform at the carnival every year, wrote: “It’s disappointing for the kids and volunteers.
“But even though this year is a static event I can promise all troupes will put on a great performance and fetch a bit of the Caribbean to the city of Preston.”
Ickie Noo Swarbrick, from the Isle of Harmony troupe, added: “I’m disappointed in the council to end this fantastic day that brings people from all over the country.”
Yzdani Laher said: “The carnival is the best thing about Preston and one of the only reasons I come back to the city where I once lived.”
And Francesca Maritan added: “This was the first event of its kind in the UK (predates Notting Hill) and an important part of Preston’s multi-cultural legacy. Shame on the city for not getting behind such a positive annual event.”
Organisers say the procession costs £30,000 to stage.