Coastal town goes carnival crazy

GALLERY Entries in one of Suffolk's most popular carnivals were going for gold yesterday

Richard Smith

ENTRIES in one of Suffolk's most popular carnivals were going for gold yesterday

The theme for the annual Aldeburgh carnival was fairy tales and people's imagination ran riot as they made fun with pantomime, giants, fairies, elves, goblins, trolls, witches and all those Once Upon a Time stories.

But a few enterprising people dreamed up tales of Olympic glory as they played with the idea of winning a gold medal in the Bird's Nest stadium.

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There was also space in the long procession for a float focusing on those tales of Aldeburgh life which have hit the headlines.

Complaints about the noisy church bells, the raucous cries of seagulls, motorhomes parked overnight on the sea wall at Slaughden, lack of progress on affordable housing, and gentle fun poked at the town councillors all featured on the float.

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Although many of the floats were made in Aldeburgh, there were entries from people in Leiston, Easton and Woodbridge.

Four young girls spent a couple of weeks in their summer holidays designing a float highlighting the effect the “credit crunch” had on donations from the tooth fairy.

Olivia and Imogen Covell of Woodbridge teamed up with Emily and Phoebe Cook of Ufford to enter their float.

They were inspired by Aldeburgh-born Richard Cook, father of Emily, six, and Phoebe, 10, who had won the decorated car category for 10 consecutive years when he was younger.

The Band of the Welsh Guards provided stirring music to herald the start of the procession and then the Carnival Queen, Abby Saint, and her attendants Chloe and Amy Fryer took centre stage as they led the procession through the town in front of thousands of visitors.

The procession was a lively affair with noise reverberating through the town, and dancing from the Suffolk School of Samba and the Knots of May and Kempsmen.

The carnival, which included events over three days, cost more than £20,000 to stage, and the firework display which provided a fitting finale last night cost more than £3,000.

Thousands of visitors and residents waving Chinese lanterns lit up the town as dusk descended.

The weather was in keeping with a variable English summer - torrential rain lashed down on Sunday as runners lined up for the “mini marathon” but blue skies and sunny spells greeted yesterday's procession.

Kevin Webster, the town's deputy mayor, said: “Aldeburgh wouldn't be Aldeburgh without the carnival.

“A lot of hard work has gone into this event but it is well worth it - it is great, absolutely great here today.

“Many people have spent a long time making their floats for the procession and many more people have come out to watch.

“There are lots of happy, smiling faces around and that is how the town should be.”

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