End of an era for Hendy and Pontarddulais Carnival Parade

IT is the end of an era for the famous Hendy and Pontarddulais carnival parade, which lit up the town each summer for the last 50 years. 

The committee contacted Wales News Online with the following information:

Fourteen members of the Pontarddulais and Hendy Festival Committee met this week at Pontarddulais Rugby Club.

The committee discussed the planning of the summer fete. They were pleased to hear that nine local bands had shown an interest in the battle of the bands competition which will see the bands battle it out in various heats throughout May.

The winning band will then be invited to play live at the summer party on the pitch at Pontarddulais Rugby Pitch on Saturday 29th June.

Planning for the summer fete and summer event was well underway.  The Rockwood dog Stunt team will be returning to put on another dog display at the summer fete and will once again entertain the families.

Radio Tir Coed will also be at the summer event.

There will be lots to do and see with local community stalls and crafters already booking their stalls for the June Event.

 Gorseinon’s West End Gymastics will also be doing a display in the centre field as will Star Dance Street Academy. There will also be other activities such as the popular West Wales Zorbs and the Laser Clay pigeon shoot to entertain the crowds.

The committee also discussed the various other activities which will take place in June including the 5k fun run and the local inter schools sports day.

The schools which include Ysgol Yr Hendy,  Llanedi, Bryniago and Pontarddulais Juniors will be invited to continue to take part in the various other activities such as the writing of short stories where the winning school receives a shield for the best short story based on the theme of the summer event.

Each committee member was given letters to pass onto their patrons which thanks the patrons for their past support and explains what this years festival and activities will look like. During the coming weeks  the committee will be promoting its activities and planning on their face book page.

The next festival committee meeting will be held on Tuesday 14th May,

The letter to the patrons has been posted to the festivals page and is attached below and reads

Dear Patron,

It is with a heavy heart I write to our patrons who have been supportive of the festival committee for many years. Last year you will recall we celebrated our 50th carnival year and some of you I know have been patrons since the inauguration and have supported the committee ever since.

Unfortunately due to many reasons i.e. the difficulties we now encounter each year with legal costs for road closures, the ever increasing insurance costs, the difficulty in having volunteers to steward the parade and the cost of hiring the soccer pitches from Swansea City Council, it has been decided that we need to change with the times and seek an alternative event. As a result the parade will no longer take place.

As a committee and following two public meetings we have decided to hold a summer family fete for the whole community. This will be held on Saturday 29th June 2019 on the Pontarddulais rugby fields. The fete will commence at around midday and end prior to 10pm. A full afternoon programme of events has already been booked. The West Street gymnastic team will give a display as will Star dance academy before our main act of the Rockwood Dog Display team who we used some years ago. There will be the usual stalls and live music and plenty of entertainment for all ages which will continue through to the evening.

This year we are holding a battle of the bands competition where the winning band will perform live on stage prior to the main band event later in the evening. There will be a licensed bar and plenty of food available.

This is a very different approach and one which we hope will be successful as a community event for all ages for years to come.  

As this is a new venture there will no longer be a VIP tent on the field and we have decided to discontinue seeking patronage.  However should you wish to make a donation for the event that will be most accepted.                                                                                 

On behalf of the President Mr Phil Gill and the whole committee past and present I thank you for your support over the years.

I trust you will understand our decision to change with the times. 

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