The #FridayFive — Polly Earnest from Wye

The 2017 Hereford River Carnival is on Friday 28th and Saturday 29th April — put the dates in your diary!

Over 12,000 people joined in the festivities last year and so many people from across the community got involved and had such a great time that Visit Herefordshire chose the carnival for its coveted Best Community Festival Award for 2016.

The Carnival is almost entirely unfunded and run completely by amazing volunteers. We caught up with Polly who heads up communications, to find out how this year’s event is shaping up…

What do you do for a living?

I’m a Chef and I run my own Bed and Breakfast and Gallery in Hereford with my husband who is a painter.

What do you do for fun?

Mostly get involved with the River Carnival. It is run entirely by volunteers (and a small group of us at that). I do most of the communications so that people out there know that the Carnival is happening and how people can get involved. So, in the last week, that has been to set up, launch and promote a Crowdfunder (we need £30k to stage the Carnival over 2 days). So far we have one generous sponsor who has promised £4k and several small local businesses who have joined our Business 100 Club. But we need everyone who is going to come to donate £2 to cover the costs (boring things like toilets and staging and a floating pontoon to launch the floats from). This week I have also been trying to encourage people to get involved either by volunteering on the day, or coming and building a float base, making a costume for the procession or getting involved in our Make Us a Square project.

Best thing about Hereford?

Dare I say Hereford River Carnival?! And that it is friendly and inclusive.

Worst thing about Hereford?

That more people don’t feel that they can just pitch in and get involved.

What would winning City of Culture mean to you/your business?

Hopefully we’d have the money to have a stage in the middle of the river and put live bands on there. Also, we’d hope to be able to fund rowing boats that people could hire out all year to paddle up and down the Wye in.
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