Thank you for wishing to take part in our carnival procession. The Saffron Walden Round Table Carnival Council has drawn up this document to provide information and guidance notes for the construction of Carnival Floats for entry into the Carnival Procession Event.

This document does not provide a definitive list of do’s and don’ts but will help when it comes to enter your float into the Carnival.

The Carnival council has an appointed Safety Officer and it is their duty to ensure that all entries are safe and come up to a minimum standard. Any floats considered unsuitable for inclusion will not be allowed to participate in the Procession.  We are all here to have fun, whilst being safe. We therefore offer you guidance to make your entry safe and enjoyable for everyone so please don’t hesitate to contact us if required.

We would like to draw your attention to some advice to help keep you, your group, and the spectators safe while taking part:

General Information
Please nominate an adult member of your group to be responsible for all aspects of safety, and to act as a single point of contact between your group and Carnival organisers both before and during the event. This person will be assumed as the existing point of contact unless otherwise notified.

Upon arrival and leaving the common area, it is your responsibility to provide adults to act as banksman to ensure the safety of everyone around your vehicle/float.

Although there is first aid provided at the Common and at the rear of the procession, it is advisable to carry a small kit. We would also suggest that some drinking water is readily available as the effects of dehydration can quickly set in on a hot day.

Children should have an adequate number of adult supervisors accompanying them at all times.

We discourage the crowds from throwing coins, as this can cause serious injury, and in return the spraying of water and throwing objects into the crowd is strictly prohibited.

The consumption of alcohol whilst in the procession is strictly prohibited.

Please ensure any electrical items in use are fitted safely, waterproof and are suitable for outside use, remember light bulbs can get very hot. We also suggest that mains operated equipment be inspected before use.

Please ensure that you come equipped for the prevailing weather conditions, for instance that you have a supply of sun screen and drinking water.

If there are any problems, there are stewards and police all along the procession route, and they are there to provide assistance should you have a problem.

If there is an emergency dial 999 immediately.

Pedestrian Entrants
If you are wearing a large costume, be aware that the wind may catch it and force you to fall over. It is always a good idea to have somebody help you with it and monitor your fatigue. Remember, costumes are usually flammable; stay away from sources of heat.

If you have children in your walking group, please keep them together and away from moving vehicles and ensure that you have enough adult helpers for the number of children in your party i.e. a ratio of 1 adult to 4 children.

Float Specific Entries
Consideration be given to not using Flammable materials in the construction of the float. A simple match test will show if any of the materials you are anticipating to use on your float will burst into flame should a naked light come into contact with them.

You should be able to detach and secure parts of the construction of your float to allow for transportation to and from the event at normal highway speeds. You should be able to transport the float to and from the event without the need to drive at excessively slow speeds (causing an obstruction to the highway).

If you are going to have people on your float then a good rule of thumb for capacity would be to allow 1 square metre per person as a nominal load capacity. If they are seated, the seating structure should be secured in such a manner as to prevent the passenger from being thrown should the vehicle have to break abruptly whilst in the procession.

All vehicles should carry a suitable fire extinguisher. It is recommended that your float does not exceed 14 foot in height and therefore you may wish to make the height of your float adjustable if road height issues should be discovered on the route.

Where power is supplied by a generator, then ideally this should be a diesel unit. A method to quickly shut down the unit and fuel system from the edge of the float should be deployed, removing the need to remove access panels etc to gain direct access to the unit.  The generator should be manned by someone proficient in its operation at all times.

Adequate ventilation should be allowed to keep the unit cool and not allow a build up of heat to occur. You should not rely on a forward motion of the float to provide cooling air and you may choose to carry this unit on your towing vehicle. If you are using a generator, please take all necessary safety precautions when filling it, and store fuel away from sources of heat in approved containers. (The use of a diesel generator is advisable)

The vehicle or towing vehicle and trailer must be in a legal and roadworthy condition. The trailer must not exceed the maximum towing capacity of the towing vehicle.
The driver of the towing vehicle is responsible for the general safety of the vehicle, towing mechanism, break-away chain and general sturdiness of the float, including adequate insurance cover. Anything that could fall off must be secured. The driver of the towing vehicle must have a clear view of the road ahead and both sides of the float at all times.

If there are people on the float, you should ensure they are safe while on the float, consideration should be given to ensure seats are securely attached, or as a minimum adequate handrails to prevent passengers and chairs falling off. The number of people on the float should be restricted to reasonable levels to ensure everyone’s safety.

The driver should keep up with the procession and not allow significant gaps to form which can cause the spectators to spill on to the procession route.

The driver should pay particular attention to spectators trying to cut across the procession ahead of them, and crowding to the side.

The use of adults to walk alongside the float who can be clearly seen by the driver is recommended to provide an additional pair of eyes alongside the float as processions can be very busy.

Nobody should ride on a float hanging over the edge, or go in between the towing vehicle and float when it is in motion.

You should only climb onto or off your float when the vehicle has stopped moving.

Please try to keep your vehicle in the centre of the road during the procession away from either side of spectators in case a spectator falls or is pushed into the road.

We hope you have safe and a fun carnival and help us to keep it an accident free one, and look forward to seeing you on the day!!

All floats will be required to sign a injury liability waiver before they participate in the procession.

NOTE: You will be expected to sign a statement to the effect that your float complies with all the guidelines set out above. This will be a condition of entry at the event for your safety and that of the public and the event.

For further information and queries please email: or

The Procession Committee,
Saffron Walden Round Table,
Unit 2, Saffron Business Centre,
Saffron Walden, Essex, CB10 2NL