The countdown is on to the 2013 Hanwell Carnival. The date has been set – Saturday 15 June - and the preparations are in full swing.
Your free community carnival is getting bigger and bigger – about 20,000 flocked to Elthorne Park last year to share in the fun – and this year is shaping up to be an extravaganza like no other.
All the firm favourites are back such as the fancy-dress procession, dog show and funfair. There will also be a petting farm and animals of a wilder nature, alongside talent of the human kind. There are a variety of stages offering music and dance, and a range of stalls for crafty types.
The carnival is London's oldest, first taking place in 1898, and it was established to raise money for the Cottage Hospital, now Ealing Hospital.
Charity is still the carnival's reason for being, and many stalls will be occupied by groups highlighting their cause and to raise some money. For some of the charities, carnival day is their biggest fundraiser. If there is an excess of funds after staging the carnival, charities will be invited to submit bids for grants. The bidding process will be advertised here, and on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
As charities are so important to the carnival, their stalls are subsidised which means they only pay half the cost.
Charities also take part in the procession. They are joined by schoolchildren, community organisations and sport clubs, including karate, camogie and cycling. This year's theme is Back to Nature.
The carnival queen, princess and for the first time, prince, have already been selected. It was intensely competitive and all of the applicants were befitting of a royal role. They proved that Ealing is full of the brightest and best.
A lot of people do not realise that the carnival is run by the community for the community and it relies entirely on volunteers. And it is always on the look-out for more. If you have a few hours to spare and want to help in the run-up to the carnival or on the day itself, please get in touch.
Remember - YOUR carnival needs YOU.