Thousands brave elements for carnival

AN ESTIMATED 12,000 people braved the elements to enjoy a town's carnival.Crowds of people lined the streets of Stowmarket to wave on an impressive procession of floats as it weaved it way through the town.

By John Howard

AN ESTIMATED 12,000 people braved the elements to enjoy a town's carnival.

Crowds of people lined the streets of Stowmarket to wave on an impressive procession of floats as it weaved it way through the town.

One of the floats had a tropical island look with palm trees - at odds with the unseasonal weather.


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The procession also included the emergency services, majorettes and Stowmarket Concert Band marching as they played rousing music.

Saturday's carnival day followed a week of events which continued yesterday.

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Kevin and Julie Hedge, from Thorndon, were at the carnival with their children James, five, and David, three.

Mr Hedge said: "There has been a thunder storm, but you make this most of it, although I think people were marching a bit quicker than normal.

"It's a great shame, but that's the British summer for you. The children enjoyed it, particularly the boys' brigade band as our youngest is in to drums.''

Amanda Simmons, from Stowmarket, who was watching the procession with her children, said: "It's the first time I have been, we only moved here in March.

"It's really good, I have never been to a carnival before and it's nice to see the sense of community.''

Moira Mead, from Stowmarket, was watching the procession with her family and said: "It brings everyone together.

"I have seen people I have not seen for ages, it's nice. The floats are really good this year, I have been coming for years.''

After the procession the crowds went on to the recreation ground, where there was entertainment including an escape artist, stalls, a beer tent and a fun fair.

Mark Cook, carnival committee chairman, said: "We were a bit down on last year but then the weather was against us, it rained until the procession finished.

"But we are pleased, people still flocked in in considerable numbers despite the bad weather.''

And town mayor Gordon Paton said Stowmarket is the richer for keeping its carnival, when many communities have stopped holding their's.

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