FIFTY years of a community carnival have been hailed a success as thousands flocked to the event as it returned following a three-year break. 

The Old Basing and Lychpit Carnival Committee finally celebrated its delayed 50th-year event on Saturday, June 17. 

The golden anniversary should have been celebrated in 2020 but was hampered by the pandemic, subsequent restrictions and changes to the committee. 

Following the event being cancelled for a third time in 2022, a group of new committee members rallied together with a focus on launching the event. 

Thousands of people showed up and organisers are now eyeing up an even bigger return in 2024. 

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Basingstoke Gazette: Old Basing and Lychpit Carnival

Victoria Grayson, carnival secretary, said: "The carnival has been such a big event in the calendar for Old Basing and Lychpit residents over the past 50 years.

"This year was no exception with local groups, such as the Women’s Institute, uniformed organisations (including Scouts and Guides) and groups such as the Lychpit Community Residents Association all keen to get involved either by entering a stall or entering the carnival procession.

"I joined the committee in 2022 with a view to simply set the wheels in motion once again. It has been wonderful to see it all finally come together and the joy on everyone’s faces to see the carnival back once again."

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Melanie Grigg, a Lychpit resident and vice chair of the committee, added: "Relaunching a fundraising event such as this has certainly not been an easy task given the time that has passed since the last one, changes to legislation for events and the fact the majority of the committee were completely new.

"We also know that family finances are particularly stretched this year, due to the cost of living crisis, and therefore the focus for the 2023 carnival needed to be on providing good old-fashioned family fun that was affordable.

"We felt just re-establishing the event was the main thing and that any funds raised would be a bonus... I think we have achieved it." 

The Old Basing and Lychpit Carnival, as it is called now, began life as a fundraiser for the Scout and Guide groups and later to raise funds for the Old Basing Village Hall.

This year's event has been hailed as a resounding success with over 300 people entering the procession.

Basingstoke Gazette: Old Basing and Lychpit Carnival

The rec was filled with stalls representing many charities as well as traditional games such as Play your Cards Right and Ring Toss.

Local groups such as the Old Basing Bowls Club and the Archers held ‘have a go’ sessions whilst the arena was graced with appearances from schools, sports clubs and dance groups.

Residents lined the streets to watch a Golden themed procession followed by the carnival prince and princess of 2020 - who have waited three years to begin their reign. 

Councillor for Basing and Upton Grey ward, Onnalee Cubitt, declared the carnival open and presented trophies to the winners of each procession class; 1st Lychpit Rainbows and Brownies, Old Basing Village Nursery School and the ladies from Home Instead, Old Basing, who won the prestigious Viner Cup as the overall procession winners.

Basingstoke Gazette: Old Basing and Lychpit Carnival

The afternoon also included a display of vintage cars, rifle shooting, ice cream, pick-and-mix sweets as well as delicious food and drink.

A memory tent of photos to celebrate the 50-year history was also put up.

The committee has traditionally hosted a number of smaller events in the build-up to the carnival and say they are looking forward to putting plans together for 2024.