All the fun of the carnival

By Rebecca SheppardBEAUTY queens were floating, majorettes were twirling, giant bugs were stomping and angels on stilts were balancing through the streets as carnival-season arrived.

By Rebecca Sheppard

BEAUTY queens were floating, majorettes were twirling, giant bugs were stomping and angels on stilts were balancing through the streets as carnival-season arrived.

More than 200 people took part in the Ipswich Community Carnival on Saturday night, which started in Cromwell Square and finished to the cheers of thousands of people in the Cornhill.

The theme of the carnival, which is in its second year and is part of the Ip-art festival, was Summer Wild Things, so there were huge creepy crawlies and revellers dressed madly going through the town's streets.

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The Kurdish community in Ipswich provided singing and dancing, with Samba bands from Deben High School and Holywells High School also adding some musical accompaniment as the colourful spectacle passed by.

There were even stilt walkers from the Co-Op education department pushing a big inflatable globe as well as a stilt-walking angel.

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More than 25 classic cars also arrived in Ipswich yesterday on a stopover of the East Anglian Classic Car Rally as part of the Ip-art festival.

Vintage cars, including a 1953 Bentley Continental and a 1960 Aston Martin DB4, joined the collection of motoring history on display in Cromwell Square.

Blue King, the carnival co-ordinator, said: "The idea of the carnival is to raise the profile of community musicians and artists to celebrate the diversity of the Ipswich community.

"It was fantastic just to see so many smiling children really enjoying themselves and the applause at the end was brilliant. With all the playing and dancing, it was a nice end to the Ip-art festival."

Residents also lined the streets on Saturday to see watch a carnival procession snake around the Trimley villages.

With this year's theme being music, there was disco dancing, live bands and ditties from musicals to accompany the seven decorated floats.

The Trimley Red Devils float, decorated on a football theme, headed the procession, while six carnival queens sat proudly on show and six sets of majorettes twirled their batons to the joy of the crowds.

Lampposts were decorated with artwork, which marked the carnival's mile-and-a-quarter-long route through Trimley St Mary and Trimley St Martin.

Kevin Welton, chairman of the Trimley Carnival Committee, said there had been about 1,500 people milling around the villages for the carnival, which was first staged in 1968.

"It is the largest one we have had. It's the second year we have organised it - it nearly folded last year as the old committee resigned," he added.

"It's gone very well, except for the Flying Lady, the old vintage car blowing up - it overheated. It was well supported and the weather has been kind to us."

A carnival parade, woodland photography, coppicing and storytelling were also held in Combs Wood, near Stowmarket, on Saturday.

The activities were part of the celebrations of the 18-month-long Combs Wood Uncovered Project, which is run by the Suffolk Wildlife Trust and offers residents a chance to become involved in the woodland.

The event saw visitors create a carnival costume with masks, wings and instruments before following a route marked by handmade woodland figures.

Work by pupils from Combs Middle School, the Stowmarket YMCA, the Sunday Club at Stowmarket Library and the Combs 2nd Brownies could also be seen between the trees.

The streets of Woodbridge were also lined with stalls yesterday, displaying everything from Woodbridge In Bloom to the county market.

The town's mayor, Russell Geen, said: "It has a nice historic feel about it and it's something we really want to encourage in Woodbridge with our river and everything else. As far as the street fair is concerned, we had a wonderful turnout."

Flowers, handicraft, fruit and vegetables were also just some of the items being displayed at yesterday's Woodbridge Flower Show.

The event, which has been running for more than 150 years and is presented by the Woodbridge Horticultural Society, saw 109 entrants into 153 classes.

Ray Marsh, chairman of the organising committee, said it had been a successful event and the community hall had been packed.

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