A CASH-STRAPPED carnival is under threat.

Organisers of Basildon and Pitsea Carnival, which has been going for 93 years, say the popular procession may have to be cancelled if funding cannot be found quickly.

The carnival court take part in a number of fundraising events throughout the year, but the event relies largely on sponsorship from local firms.

It is scheduled to take place on Saturday, July 26, meaning organisers have just ten weeks to come up with the thousands of pounds needed.

Committee member Nina Wise, said: “Our main focus is finances. We just haven't got the money to put on the parade.

“I don’t think people understand how much it costs to put on a carnival. We’re not getting any businesses comking forward to sponsor us. Prices are constantly rising, so I think they just can’t really afford it.

“If we don’t come up with the funds, it would mean we’d have to cancel the procession. I think if we lost it this year, we would never get it back.”

The committee insists it will still go ahead with its fete if the parade has to be scrapped.

The fete, taking part at Nevendon Park, in Felmores, Pitsea, will feature a fun fair and stalls selling food, jewellery and handmade gifts.

If the parade goes ahead, it will leave Cherrydown West at 10am, and make its way through Basildon town centre, Ghyllgrove and Whitmore Way.

The procession will be made up of this year’s carnival court, a marching band, and an array of colourful floats.

Mrs Wise, who has been involved in the event for 20 years, added: “We want the day to be fun for the people taking part and the people coming along to watch.

"We're always looking for new people who want to get involved in the parade, and it's perfect for schools, Girl Guides and Brownies, majorette troupes and dance groups."

For more information, call 01268 420789 or email bpca@ hotmail.co.uk.