Lowestoft Carnival 'entertains you'

ECHOING out loud and clear, 'Let me entertain you' was the appropriate tune that heralded the start of the Lowestoft Carnival parade.Thousands of spectators lined the streets of Lowestoft on Sunday to watch the annual carnival parade.

ECHOING out loud and clear, 'Let me entertain you' was the appropriate tune that heralded the start of the Lowestoft Carnival parade.

Thousands of spectators lined the streets of Lowestoft on Sunday to watch the annual carnival parade.

And with typical military precision, the Ambassadors Showband from Derby looked resplendent in their smart Latino gold and red uniforms as they set the tone for the popular procession.

The throngs of people greeted them with a rapturous welcome and they continued to cheer and clap encouragement as a superb array of colourful costumes, fun-filled floats, live music and entertainment galore kept the audience enthused.

Majorettes, twirlers and youngsters from dance groups and theatre schools mingled with young rugby and football players as pirates, Romans, animal costumes, Spanish senoritas and cat-suit clad entertainers all took centre stage to perform well rehearsed routines in a stunning mix of colour and verve that created a magical parade.

Walkers in crazy costumes combined with other colourful characters as fancy dress brought real fun and frolics to the procession.

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And the weather befitted the occasion as the sun shone down on the spectators and participants as the vibrant collection of 35 decorated floats, walkers, veteran and classic vehicles made their way through the streets of Lowestoft for the 41st parade in the town.

Recently crowned Lowestoft Journal Carnival Queen Jade Searby and her attendants Aneliese Rix and Chloe Smithson took pride of place in the procession riding on top of the Lings Honda powerboat.

Parade veteran and wheelchair class winner, Billy Hansford was dressed as an alternative Carnival Queen, and he was just typical of those on display who helped to create a carnival atmosphere.

Disco fever was evident on the Tigerlilys float as three talented female singers and dancers entertained the judges to such an extent that it earned them the best on the move trophy.

Joining the Ambassadors of Borrowash Carnival Band in the parade was fellow South Midlanders the Long Eaton Militaires and the Wellingborough Redwell. Music from local favourites the Suffolk Samba Band, the Endeavour Rangers from Gorleston and the Glenmoriston Pipes and Drums, who are based in Bury St Edmunds, also delighted the crowds.

The Mayor of Lowestoft, Malcolm Cherry, also walked the route with the mayoress and acknowledged the crowds by waving his ceremonial hat.

A particular crowd favourite for the youngsters was an appearance from popular CBeebies television character Iggle Piggle, who walked the carnival route and posed for pictures as he collected for Lowestoft Hospital.

Such was the high standards of the carnival floats and costumes that parade organisers - the Friends of Lowestoft Hospital - hailed the entrants and said they 'exceeded the expectations.'

The carnival committee also praised the support and help from clubs, businesses, individuals and traders, who had made the parade a success. They also acknowledged the co-operation and help from the many stewards and collectors. The help from recovery vehicle drivers from Hammonds of Halesworth as well as the practical support from Waveney Norse was also praised.

Carnival Chairman Pat Rayner said: 'The atmosphere was very special with everyone seeming to come along to really enjoy the parade - but without the help of the emergency services, especially the local police and special constabulary together with St John Ambulance personnel and the fire service, the festivities could not have taken place and we are indebted to them.'

The police and first aiders reported a relatively trouble free event, which attracted an estimated 10,000 to 15,000 people.

Collectors were weighed down with many heavy buckets from coins dropped in by spectators along the parade route and this helped to make the efforts of everyone really worthwhile.

At the time of going to press, the final amount is not yet known as the monies are still being counted by a security company and the total collected is expected to be known next week.

But the real winners of the weekend were the patients at Lowestoft Hospital who benefit through the generosity of the general public.

People who were unable to attend the parade but who may still have coins that they wish to donate can take them to reception at Lowestoft Hospital.

Carnival Parade Results 2009

Decorated Wheelchairs, Electric Buggies and Bicycles - Class A

1st Certificate - Billy Hansford

2nd Certificate - Edward Long

Veteran/Classic Vehicles - Class D

NSHEBA Carnival Shield - Heartcare CSG - Austin Gypsy

Peter Peek Memorial Shield - Seething Airfield Fire & Rescue

Local Clubs & Groups - Adults Only

With Float / Vehicle - Class E

Maureen Cooke Memorial Shield - Lowestoft & Oulton Broad Aid & Assist

Local Clubs & Groups - Adults & Children

With Float / Vehicle - Class G

New Carnival Cup - Uplands Community Centre

Jack Scarles Memorial Shield - Jumpin Jax School of Dance

Millennium Festival Shield - Blaze Dance School

Carnival Shield - I D C Diamonds

Local Clubs & Groups - Adults & Children

Without Float / Vehicle - Class H

Ken Hammond Shield - Funtastic Futures

Local & National Businesses - Shops, Hotels, Public House & Traders - Class I

Traders Cup - Lake Lothing Public House

Sunrise Coast Carnival Shield - Lady of the Lake Public House

Burrage Shield - Suffolk Punch Public House

Highly Commended Certificate - The Tigerlily's

Majorettes & Baton Twirlers - Class J

Tommy Turrell Shield - Waveney Twirling Team

Highly Commended Certificate - Urban Allstars

Carnival Queens - Class X

East Coast Festival Shield - Lowestoft Carnival Queen

Highly Commended Certificate - Beccles Carnival Queen

Best Maintained Lorry

John Stoddard Memorial Trophy - Uplands Community Centre

Best on the Move

The Procession Shield - The Tigerlilys

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