Bognor clown festival cancelled

Last year's clown parade and picnic in Hotham Park. Pictures by Neil Cooper
Last year's clown parade and picnic in Hotham Park. Pictures by Neil Cooper

They bring a huge amount of colour and noise to the town in the summer – but this year’s Bognor Regis Clown Festival has now been cancelled.

The clowns were looking to hold their parade and picnic in Hotham Park next weekend, but because it clashed with Bognorphenia in the town centre, the clowns say they were told by Arun District Council they couldn’t perform in any public places.

The clowns are looking to be back next year. Picture Neil Cooper

The clowns are looking to be back next year. Picture Neil Cooper

“There’s no bad feeling, it’s just one of those unfortunate things,” said professional clown Rob Bowker, known as Bibbledybob.

“We’re absolutely gutted we’re not going to be in Bognor but we’re happy we’re not stepping on anybody’s toes, the last thing we’d want to do is upset anyone and compete for crowds with another festival.”

Since coming back to the town in 2016 the clown festival has attracted hundreds of families, with events staged in the park and clown schools in the Jeneses Arts Centre.

Last year professional clowns from all over the world congregated on Bognor and on the Sunday they filled Hotham Park with music and fun.

And they have promised to go even bigger next year.

Bibbledybob said: “We love Bognor and Bognor loves us.

“This year is a really busy year for us with it being the 250th year of circus so with it being difficult to find the right date for Bognor, we thought let’s wait until next year.

“We want to do it right, no half measures.”