September 25th, 2016

Carnival return hits the right notes

Updated: 5:13 pm, Jul 16, 2015

CROWDS lined the streets to welcome the return of Astwood Bank Carnival on Saturday (July 11).

Following the theme of musicals, a record number of children and parents took to floats dressed as their favourite characters from Grease, Mary Poppins, The Blues Brothers and the Lion King.

The procession was led by a horse drawn carriage containing this year’s carnival royalty followed in a limousine carrying MP Karen Lumley and Mayor of Redditch Councillor Pattie Hill.

Groups and bands pounded the pavement to collect money and play music to thousands of spectators.

Local businesses also got into the carnival spirit by adorning their buildings with bunting and decorations.

Afterwards everyone went back to the field to enjoy live bands, fairground rides and demonstrations, while a casino evening also raised £500 for local groups and charities.

Ridgeway Academy won the best float award, while All Round Theatre School won the best walking group, both on the theme of Grease.

Carnival chairman Jenny Lightfoot said: “This time last year there was a very grave danger that we couldn’t carry on with carnival as we just didn’t have enough people to help organise and run it.

“We really shouldn’t have worried because as soon as we appealed for help from our community we had people volunteering to ensure the continued success of the carnival.

“All of the hard work put in by the committee members, new and old, certainly paid off when you could see so many people having a brilliant day out, here’s to planning 2016, but first of all we have a quiz night on September 25.”