Hartlepool Carnival - 'probably one of the biggest events in Europe' - returns
Hartlepool Carnival is back on the Headland after being cancelled last year.
The much-loved event kicked off on Thursday afternoon, July 29, with the opening of the popular Murphy’s Funfair on the Town Moor after being called off last year for the first time since the Second World War because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The carnival, which was opened by Mayor of Hartlepool Brenda Loynes, culminates in Carnival Day on Saturday, August 7.
It will host plenty of fun activities such as sand castle building, children’s talent contest and live music.
A spokesman for the carnival committee said: “We are having a great afternoon.
"The fair has been opened by the Mayor of Hartlepool. It’s a lovely feeling.
"The Headland people love this event. They love the fortnight and everything that’s going on around it.
"It’s given us what we needed, a much needed uplift.
"It was lovely. The sun was shining and everyone was happy.
"We’d like to thank our local businesses and traders and our community for the enthusiasm. We are up and going.”
Funfair operator John Murphy, 36, has said it’s fantastic to be back at the main event after holding a small fair on the Headland in September last year.
John, who is the sixth generation in his family to run the funfair and has been coming to the carnival since he was a baby, said: “It’s fantastic to be back in Hartlepool.
"I think it’s not only the biggest event in the North East. I know a lot of showmen in Europe and they are still closed, so it’s probably one of the biggest events in Europe at the minute.
"We’re very proud of it.
John, from South Shields, continued: "It’s a big part of our lives. We look forward to coming each year, so it was emotional. We’re happy to be back.
"What makes the carnival is the local people and the different events. It’s not just a large fairground, it’s a very communal spirit.
"As long as the weather stays dry, I think people will come out and enjoy the fun.”
Carnival Committee member Kevin Jones added: “All the carnival committee is happy to be back.
"We’re happy that the carnival is on this year and we are all looking forward to the different events this week.“