ASTWOOD Bank Carnival is set to get under way tonight with three days of festival-style fun.
In this Platinum Jubilee year the carnival theme is ‘Best of British’, celebrating all that is great about this diverse, creative, historic country and its plethora of national treasures.
The Carnival weekend kicks off at 7.30pm tonight (Friday, July 8), with a barn dance in the Carnival Marquee in the Carnival Field, Sandhills Farm, SE Davis, Astwood Bank.
The ever-popular Life of Riley will be returning to provide the music and it’s sure to be a right old knees up.
“We first held the Barn Dance in 2017 and it has now become a much-loved village tradition the evening before the Carnival,” said Astwood Bank Community Group vice chair Matt Connor-Hemming.
“Last year was a sell-out event with everyone enjoying dancing into the night.”
So revellers can travel safely there will be a free shuttle bus service, kindly sponsored by Royal Motorways, from the barn dance to the Bell Pub to people with their journey home.
Tickets, at just £5, can only be bought in advance at www.astwoodbankcg.co.uk/barn-dance.
Then tomorrow (Saturday, July 9), there’s the Carnival procession itself featuring all the Carnival royalty who will lead a succession of floats, bands and walking groups honouring all things British to the carnival showground at Sandhills Farm.
The showground will be packed with stalls and trade stands with plenty of entertainment on offer throughout the afternoon, including an amazing line up of arena acts and activities such as pony rides, fairground attractions, a traditional dog show with categories including waggiest tail, cutest pup and best veteran, and falconry displays.
There will also be a car show featuring a wide range of motors, from classics all the way up to modern.
Plus lots of activities are promised for all the family from crazy golf to circus skill workshops.
A diverse range of British food will be available from bhajis to burgers and lots in between, as well as the return of the very popular Pimms and beer tents provided by The Why Not Inn.
Back by popular demand, local folk/rock band Wychwood and solo singer Breese Woolley will be performing in the beer tent.
This year’s headline area act Paul Hannan will wow the crowds with his daredevil stunts, performing two shows throughout the day.
Other entertainment includes:
1.50-2.05pm Redditch Taekwondo Club
2.05-2.10pm Crowning Carnival Royalty
2.10-2.40pm Paul Hannam Stunt Entertainment
2.40pm Full Force Wrestling: Matches 1 & 2
2.55-3.10pm Shaun Paul Smith Dance Academy
3.10-3.25pm ATMA Karate
3.25-3.55pm Paul Hannam Stunt Entertainment
3.55-4.15 It’s A Sign
4.15pm Aunty Jen
4.25-4.30pm Grand Prize Draw
4.30-4.45pm Shaun Paul Smith Dance Academy
4.45pm Full Force Wrestling: Rumble
2 – 2.45 Breese Woolley
2.45 – 3.30 Wychwood
3.30 – 4.15 Breese Woolley
4.15 – 5.00 Wychwood
Rounding off the weekend of festivities will be the Carnival Finale being held at The Why Not Inn from midday on Sunday, July 10 with performances from David Lloyd the Music Man, face painting, kids entertainment along with an outside bar and BBQ.
Astwood Bank Community Group chair Ashley Hewitt said: “Carnival weekend, along with all of the other events and activities that we organise throughout the year, is all about bringing our community together and this year it is more important than ever following the pandemic.
“Whether it is the local businesses, schools, scouting groups, Operatic Society, Astwood Bank in Bloom, or many of our worthy locally based groups and charities, it is a real celebration of our wide community.”