To follow on from Roger Atterwill's resignation installing the towns Christmas Lights, Dereham Carnival Committee have also decided to hand the task of lighting up the Market Place back to the Town Council. Although this was a decision we had informally made prior to Christmas, we held our AGM on January 15th 2019 and the vote was unanimous. In August 2016 the Town Council approached the Carnival Committee with the invitation to take on the lights event, this is when we started working on the 2017 lights event, with lots of ideas which would hopefully make the local community a little bit prouder of our town.

Unfortunately funding to make a really memorable event is a struggle when the available budget from the Town Council is just £5000. After they purchased the tree, tree surgeons services and a cherry picker it left the contribution that they could make at £500.  Dereham Carnival Committee subsidised the event for the last 2 years, in year one by £4500 and in year two by £1075.  Sadly the Carnival can no longer justify that loss to our funds and the Town Council's budget for the lights shows no sign of being increased.


Volunteers are also extremely hard to find, and, with the time needed to spend on fundraising for two events a year, that are six months apart, there is only so much time and energy people can give. The events themselves have been organised by a team of extremely passionate people who have committed an awful lot to the Carnival and the Christmas lights, so this was not an easy choice to make. We are now focusing our time solely on Dereham Carnival and a special centenary event this year to mark 1919. The Carnival as we have come to know it will be returning in 2020 with plans already underway.

We made this decision as a committee who are extremely proud of what we have achieved in the last two years with the lights. There have been lots of smiles and hopefully lots of happy memories created for the towns children.

After all, that's what it's all about.


Now is the perfect opportunity for anyone else passionate about the lights in the future to step forward and offer up their time and skills. We would happily support anyone wishing to take on the lights should they need any contacts or direction on the legalities of putting on an event. Please feel free to email us at

We would like to thank all the people, businesses, organisations, schools etc that have supported us with the lights in the last 2 years, any event of this size would be impossible to put on without such valued backing and financial support. So, from us to you - Thank You!

Carnival HQ, 45a Norwich Road, Dereham. NR20 3AS  
The Dereham Christmas Lights Switch on and Market event 2017 & 2018 was brought to you by the Dereham Carnival Committee