Shaftesbury Carnival Launches New Award For Clever Thinking

Shaftesbury Carnival entrants have a new incentive for coming up with clever entries. A new award is being offered for ‘The Most Original Interpretation of a Theme’.

The trophy has been crafted and donated by Kipling Carnival Club members Matt and Steve Appleby, presenters of ThisIsAlfred’s carnival show.

Steve says they wanted to reward great ideas, rather than physical building skills. “It’s looking at the theme and thinking that you could do something that everybody does – people choosing ‘cowboys’ when the theme is ‘USA’. Or you could ‘peel off’ and do something different with it,” said Steve. “It doesn’t have to be the best entry. It can be at any level. It doesn’t have to come first in class. Any people can win it. It’s the award for thinking outside of the box.”

Matt and Steve Appleby (far left and right) present the ThisIsAlfred award to Shaftesbury Carnival Co-Chairman Rich Mullins and Heather Sanger

Matt and Steve have spoken to many people passionate about carnival for their Alfred podcast. The brothers say that experience inspired them to recognise creativity and enthusiasm with this trophy. “We think, everyone should have the opportunity – to be able to win it,” said Matt

Steve wants to publicise this additional trophy so entrants all over the Westcountry know that it will be awarded for the first time at Shaftesbury Carnival, on Saturday 28th September. “We want to make the entrants aware. The big, hundred-foot carts might win a lot of the specials, but a little four-year-old walker could quite easily win this award,” said Matt.

The new Shaftesbury Carnival trophy

The men have thanked Travis Perkins in Shaftesbury for donating some material, which was used to create the unique wooden award featuring a traditional theatre-inspired design. “It’s a masquerade mask, with a happy face and a sad face,” said Steve.

The beautifully polished wooden trophy features a metal plate, which will be engraved with the winner’s name. The successful individual or club will keep the award until the following July. The men hope that the winner might carry and display the trophy at the carnivals which follow the Shaftesbury event. After that, “it will go onto somebody’s fireplace hopefully,” said Steve.