Thousands turn out for carnival

THE parade route may have been cut short by red tape.But that was not going to stop Lowestoft enjoying itself last weekend as thousands of people let their hair down and got in the carnival spirit.

THE parade route may have been cut short by red tape.

But that was not going to stop Lowestoft enjoying itself last weekend as thousands of people let their hair down and got in the carnival spirit.

An estimated 15,000 joined the party on Sunday - and even the sun broke through the crowds - as more than 30 decorated floats, walkers, majorettes, veteran and classic vehicles made the town's carnival day an occasion to remember.

Pat Rayner, chairman of the organisers, the Friends of Lowestoft Hospital was delighted.

'After the problems of the past week we are delighted with the way the parade has gone,' she told The Journal. 'It has been such a great day and everybody seems to have had a wonderful time - which is what carnival is all about.

'I cannot praise the parade entrants enough for the effort they put into decorating their floats and creating their stunning costumes. They made a wonderful spectacle.'

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The Journal reported last week on how the parade route had been cut, when the organisers ran into red tape after being told by the Highways Agency just a week before the big event that they would need to obtain a road closure order to run the procession on the A12.

But people were not put off, and there were larger crowds than usual in London Road South and particularly at the dispersal point in Parade Road North, as spectators from north Lowestoft were forced over the harbour bridge to watch the procession.

Two carnival bands travelled from the Midlands for the parade and were joined by the Endeavour Rangers from Gorleston.

The optional theme of Stage and Screen was taken by the Uplands Community Centre with an elaborate float featuring characters from Alice in Wonderland, winning them the 'best on the move' trophy. Parade stalwart Roz Fallon also embraced the theme with a topical take on film stars as Gina-lollo-bridge-ida and Briget Bardot.

As they made their way through the town they joined other revellers dressed as pirates, young urban scouts demonstrating combat techniques and gangsters under the watchful eye of the Godfather.

Carnival Queen Jade Searby and her attendants Aneliese Rix and Chloe Smithson clung onto the side of a 1930s open fire engine, while Nigel Dack, the mayor of Lowestoft, walked the route with his wife Lynn.

The Carnival Committee praised the support and help from clubs, businesses, individuals and traders, who had made the parade a success.

Mrs Rayner added: '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 day with just one arrest. Collectors were weighed down with many heavy buckets from coins dropped in by spectators - raising �3,727 that will benefit the patients at Lowestoft Hospital.

Looking ahead to next year, Mrs Rayner said: 'The viability of the carnival parade continuing in its present form will be discussed by the Carnival Committee in the coming months once the new cost for policing the event in 2011 and the cost of road closures are known.'

Carnival Parade Results 2010

Veteran/classic cars/vehicles

1 Peter Peek Memorial Shield - Seething Airfield Fire and Rescue, 2 Heartcare CSS, 3 East Anglian Fire and Rescue.

Local clubs and groups - children/adults with float/vehicle

1 New Carnival Cup (Uplands Community Centre), 2 Maureen Cooke Memorial Shield (Waveney Youth FC), 3 Totally Wicked School of Dance, 4 Jumpin Jax.

Local and national businesses - shops and traders.

1 Traders Cup Carlton Hall Residential Home, 2 Jack Scarles Memorial Shield The Tigerlilys, 3 Lowestoft and Oulton Broad Aid and Assist, 4 Atlas Taxi's.

Local and national businesses - hotels and public houses

1 Burrage Shield Lake Lothing, 2 The Crown Hotel, 3 The Morning Star.

Majorettes and baton twirlers

1 Millennium Festival Shield - Urban Allstars, 2 Black Ice Display Team, 3 Waveney Twirling Team.

Carnival Queens

1 Sunrise Coast Carnival Shield - Lowestoft Carnival Queen, 2 Beccles carnival Queen.

Best on the Move

The Procession Shield Uplands Community Centre (Alice in Wonderland).

Turn to page 27 for our four-page carnival pull-out

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