The organisers of Richmond’s annual Meet celebrations have confirmed people should not travel on the back of floats at this year’s carnival procession.
In previous years, people have ridden on the back of vehicles as part of the parade which will take place on Monday.
However, this year those planning to put together a float have been told people must not be on the back due to insurance rules and concerns raised by the county council.
The volunteers have released a statement this evening.
It states: “The Richmond Meet is organised and run solely by a group of hardworking volunteers.
“It takes a good part of a year to organise the next year’s event. We have to work within the limitations of insurance, legislation, and highways rules and regulations to make the event legal, safe and fun for all.
“As the Meet has evolved we have had more and more regular contributors who are no longer able to submit the float of their choice because their insurance company will not insure them if people are standing on the back of a moving vehicle.
“We have also been advised by NY Highways that they cannot grant road closure orders if we are intending to have floats with people on the back of them. As such we have had to advise potential float entries of these limitations.
“All entries we have known about, and regular contributors have been sent a letter notifying them of the situation.
“We understand people are disappointed by this but we will not be able to continue running the event if we do not comply with the relevant regulations.”
The public has been urged to support the parade, which is part of the town’s 127th celebrations.
Those taking part in the parade should meet at the Nuns Close car park at 9.15am on Monday. The procession will enter the Market Place at 10am.
Members of the public have expressed dismay about the new rule on social media, with some suggesting it is more dangerous for people to be walking alongside or in front of floats rather than being on the back.
Others have even called for there to be a boycott of the event.
But county councillor Stuart Parsons has urged the town to get behind the celebration.
He said: “We want people to come out and show what it means to them, and support all the organisations that have floats and everyone else taking part.”
This year’s parade will feature jazz bands and Transformers.
Anyone able to help with marshalling the event should attend the car park at 9am.