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Bridport Carnival stages another spectacular parade
IT TAKES more than a few drops of rain to defeat Bridport!” was the defiant statement of Town Mayor Maggie Ray, as the Bridport Carnival procession hit the roads.
Amid blustery and drizzly conditions, 41 floats delighted the thousands of people who had lined the streets.
There were floats dreaming of warmer climates with beach parties, holidays and a reggae paradise making up part of the carnival.
Organisers praised the amount of time, effort and creativity that had gone into this year's procession, saying it had been the most varied year yet.
The procession started at 7pm prompt led by the Coastguards and the marching band.
Following closely behind, in a vintage 1927 Crossley driven by Bryan Johnstone, was the Town Mayor Maggie Ray.
She said: “It's a brilliant turn-out by everyone. We were quite nervous beforehand with the poor weather, but thankfully the rain held off.
“It is the best one I have been to, and Shaun Fox and the other organisers should feel very proud as they have done a great job organising it all.”
Carnival Princess Chloe-Amber Cash, her attendants Daniella Scadding and Sarah Williams, Carnival Prince Aiden Cooper and Junior Princess Jenniver Sweet took pride of place as Carnival Royalty this year.
Chloe-Amber said: “I have been really excited and looking forward to it since I was chosen. It's been great and I've loved it.”
More than 30 people piled onto Freshwater's debut carnival float of Bringing the Caribbean to Bridport, as it serenaded the crowd.
The Bucky Don'ts, a community ukele group, were making their second carnival appearance with a Hawaii-themed float.
Organiser Jane Mowatt said: “We're just a bunch of people who like playing the ukele, and we had such fun last year we thought we'd do it again this year.”
There were plenty of twirlers about with four majorette groups participating, including Honiton Twirlstars, Lyme Regis Majorettes, Chard Goldstars and the Merriott Majorettes.
Seasoned carnival goers the Pardo family John, Jocelyn, Roo, Ulli, Cara and Tilda, all dressed up as their favourite singers and their rolling Mick Jagger gave the crowd a taste of Glastonbury.
Beaminster Youth Club, came as a giant spider followed by street dancers for their first appearance at this carnival.
Organiser Paula Buxton said: “Even though it's taken us two months to prepare for carnival season it has been great fun and we have all really enjoyed it.”
Other entries included Bridport Rugby Club, Bridport Football Club, Grinter family and friends, Inferno Carnival Club, Groves nursery with Ben and Hollies birthday party.
The Bridport Round Table wowed the crowd with their Dambusters float, including a revolving fighter plane, wheelbarrow aeroplanes and plenty of bouncing 'bombs' and flares.
Bridport Boy Scouts had made their float in six hours at one meeting, as they brought some dreadlocked paradise to proceedings.
Other entries included Wings of Fire, Gnomes, Pride of Bridport, Kelci's dance academy, Bridport Christian Churches, Mystery Inc, Santa's Vacation,Woof! and Bridport Gig Rowing club.
Bad Witch Hazel, aka Amy Wheatley from the Bridport Pantomine Players who dressed up as the cast of Sleeping Beauty, said: “We are all incredibly excited.
“We try to take part once a year, and although it has taken us all day to get ready, it has been worth it. We even brought umbrellas in case it was raining.”
Other entries included Flower Power, Dr Who moving on, Chick-Wrecked, Marshwood Vale Young farmers, and the Starlettes display team.
Carnival chairman Shaun Fox said the event ran smoothly and despite the weather there was only one drop out.
He said: “Considering the weather, I am really pleased with the turn-out. The procession looks great this year and it’s nice to see everyone has put so much effort into making their floats.
“We were all checking the forecast nervously all day but thankfully it's not too bad and the rain held off.”
He added: “Looking at the floats, it’s brilliant to see the creativity that has gone into all of them. I'd like to thank each and every person who has helped make a float as they look fantastic.
Gemma Rowe, chief of the judges, said: "It has been a great year and the streets were packed all the way along. All of the judges were incredibly impressed, so thank you to everyone who helped make it so good."
Roll of Honour
• Best Costume in Procession: Winner – Woof!!!! Runner up – Wings of Fire.
• Best Comical Entry: Winner – Chick-Wrecked. Runner up – Freshwater Caribbean Beach Party
• Best Local Entry: Winner - Santa's Vacation. Runner up – Glastonbury comes to Bridport
• Best Walking Entry (not wheeled/motorised): Winner – Woof!!!! Runner up – Wings of Fire
• Best Walking entry (wheeled/motorised): Winner – Glastonbury comes to Bridport. Runner up – Beaminster Youth Club
• Best Float in Procession: Winner - Freshwater Caribbean Beach Party. Runner up – Chick-Wrecked
• Best Youth Entry: Winner – Beaminster Youth Club. Runner up – Wings of Fire
• The DT6 Most Innovative Entry: Winner - Beaminster Youth Club. Runner up – Bridport Round Table
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