About Southend Community Events

Southend Comunity Events deliver and support community events to increase the sustainability of Southend’s voluntary and charity sector. Each year Southend Comunity Events through a team of dedicated volunteers each giving up hundreds of hours per year raise over £20,000 for charities and raise awareness of their activities and campaigns. Southend Carnival Procession, our main event held annually since 1906 is the largest community event in South East Essex, with over 25,000 people attending and over 3,000 participants.


Carnival Timeline


2017 Southend Carnival Highlights

We’ve had an amazing level of support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, who also funded this video of Southend Carnival 2017. Watch here


2010 The Biggest Community Event

By 2010 carnival still ran a week of events but is expanding to others to still enable charities to progress their work. In 2014 carnival became the biggest community event in Southend gaining support from many local businesses and introduced new events including a steam fair and beer festival throughout the year.


2000 £3 Million Invested by Business Into The Town

By 2000 carnival had brought an estimated £3 million of business into the town and invested more than £10 million (in real terms) to the local voluntary community.


1980 Local Businesses Support

In the 70s and 80s local businesses supported carnival, with sponsorship or entering the procession. By the 90s, interest and participation in the events began to decline and prompted the decision to stop holding the daylight procession, instead raising the profile of the Illuminated procession.


1950 Raised >£90,000 For Hospitals

From 1946-69 Carnival raised >£90,000 for Southend Hospitals and other Southend Charities. In the 1950’s, the Carnival Estate which provides subsided accommodation for vulnerable older people was established in Leigh.


1940 Carnival Helped British Service

In the early 40s Carnival helped British Service men and women and returned in 1946 with a one-day event at the Kursaal Amusement Park with Carnival returning in 1947.


1930 A Full Week Of Events

By 1930, Carnival became a full week of events raising funds a new General Hospital. There was a children’s Fancy Dress Parade, Beautiful Toddlers competition, circus and fete in Chalkwell Park, All Sorts dog show, Beautiful Legs parade, daylight and torchlight processions on the final day of Carnival attended by by Southend Carnival Court.


1926 Southend Carnival Association Was Formed

The procession continued to support the hospital and included horse-drawn floats. In 1926 Southend Carnival Association was formed.


1906 First Carnival

The first Carnival was in 1906 as part of an annual regatta to raise funds for Southend Victoria Cottage Hospital in Warrior Square.