Carnival needs 'refreshing'

MATTHEW LITTLEWOOD
Last updated 05:00 13/01/2014
Sarah Leslie
OISIN DUKE/Fairfax NZ
UP WITH THE BEST: Sarah Leslie won the senior talent quest competition at the Caroline Bay Carnival this year.

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Caroline Bay Association's president Kevin Ancell is stepping down, saying there needs to be a "fresh look" at the carnival.

Mr Ancell took as president over from David Woolstencroft in 2012. He has been involved with the association for more than 40 years.

"It's a busy job, keeping up with everything. The carnival has its challenges, and perhaps someone could come forward to give it a fresh look," he said.

"I really enjoyed mixing with families coming to the bay ... there was more of a family atmosphere over the last couple of years."

The 103rd annual carnival wrapped up last night with a concert from Glenn Shorrock (formerly of the Little River Band), while the talent quest finals were held on Saturday.

In the previous weekend, more than 2000 people attended concerts by Jason Kerrison (of Opshop). There was also good turnouts to the New Year's Eve concert and the performance by Lyttleton band The Eastern.

However, Mr Ancell said the daily attendance through the gate was down on last year. There was also less money being spent on the rides and other attractions.

"It's hard to know what to do. The carnival lasted 18 days, but the turnover has only been about as much as last year's, which only lasted 12 days," he said.

"There used to be rows three-or-four deep for the chocolate wheel, but you can tell it wasn't as popular this year. People are going to the concerts, but they're not sticking around as much afterwards."

However, he did not think the carnival should start charging for concerts, even if it could get "bigger" acts as a result.

"We've tried it in the past and people haven't necessarily come in larger numbers for a bigger act if they have to pay for it," he said.

Mr Ancell said he would still be involved with the association.

The new president should be announced in May.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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