Barnstaple gears up for 71st annual carnival procession

Fun at last year's Barnstaple carnival. Picture: Andy Keeble
Fun at last year's Barnstaple carnival. Picture: Andy Keeble

Thousands expected to line the streets to watch colourful party parade

Barnstaple's 2017 carnival royalty (left to right) princess Brooke Woollacott, queen Kimberley Jump and princess Alexandra Pinto. Picture: Andy Casey Photography. Barnstaple's 2017 carnival royalty (left to right) princess Brooke Woollacott, queen Kimberley Jump and princess Alexandra Pinto. Picture: Andy Casey Photography.

The 71st Barnstaple Carnival takes place Saturday, with the main procession setting off along The Strand at 6pm.

Organisers are expecting another bumper turnout of entries, with floats and walking characters expected to equal the 50-plus in last year’s parade.

A children’s procession sets off from the former heritage centre at 3.30pm, following judging at 2.45pm.

Judging for the main carnival takes place from 4pm.

Barnstaple Fair opens on Wednesday and runs until Saturday. Picture: Andy Keeble Barnstaple Fair opens on Wednesday and runs until Saturday. Picture: Andy Keeble

The crowning of the carnival queen, 13-year-old Kimberley Jump, will take place outside the heritage centre at 5.15pm. Kimberley will be attended by nine-year-old Sticklepath Primary School pupil Brooke Woollacott, and eight-year-old Newport Primary School pupil Alexandra Pinto.

Barnstaple Carnival Committee chairman John White said: “At the time of writing the carnival is on par with last year. The number of entries is about the same, but normally we usually get more entries this week; as we have had 11 additional entries in the past five days.

MORE: How to be a part of Barnstaple Carnival 2017

“I would estimate that from start to finish, it will take about an hour, which will include three bands – the Devon Army Cadet Force Corps of Drums, Bideford Youth Pipe Band, and Barnstaple Town Marching Band – and an array of floats, majorettes and walking characters.”

A ‘foodie area’ on The Strand will feature food from around the world, with a prosecco bar and various other stalls and entrainment on The Square.

The famous David Rowland’s Gallopers fair ride will also be on The Square from today (Wednesday).

The carnival will finish with a firework display at around 8pm.

Mr White added: “The carnival is an absolutely free event, including the fireworks show and we would invite the public to donate at least £1 in the buckets that will be carried in the procession.”

Barnstaple Fair opens at Seven Brethren on Wednesday and runs until Saturday.

MORE: Remember last year’s carnival? Scroll our picture gallery of the event here.


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