Town packed for pulsating party parade and spectacular fireworks show

Tens of thousands of people were in Barnstaple yesterday (Saturday) for a bumper carnival that provided a fitting finale to an action-packed fair week.

The town was packed for a pulsating parade - the town's 70th consecutive carnival and one of the biggest for many years.

It was a party enjoyed in glorious autumn sunshine - an atmosphere fuelled by song, dance and spectacular acrobatics.

Barnstaple carnival 2016. Picture: Andy KeebleBarnstaple carnival 2016. Picture: Andy Keeble

Airborne cheerleaders from Falcons Cheer and trampolinists from Air Extreme provided real 'wow' factor as the parade snaked around the town.

And this year's Best in Barnstaple float had a real West Indian flavour - and sound - awarded to carnival newcomers Monty's Caribbean Kitchen.

The young cast of the North Devon All Starz musical Barnum took first place in their class and were just one of many colourful floats that kept the crowds entertained.

Barnstaple carnival 2016. Picture: Andy KeebleBarnstaple carnival 2016. Picture: Andy Keeble

Fun and frolics were enjoyed by all ages - including youngsters who took part in their very own parade before the main event.

The mini carnival was led by from John Fowler Holidays mascots Freddy Fox and Trixie Rabbit and Devon Army Cadet Force Corps of Drums.

By the time mayor Julie Hunt crowned carnival queen Liberty Sheldon outside the heritage centre, crowds were already lining much of the carnival route.

Liberty's crown needed some adjustment by the mayor but it was still a moment to savour for Liberty, aged 13, from Barnstaple, as well as carnival princesses Skye Piper and Evie Rose-Wall, both aged eight, from Bickington.

The carnival - the final curtain of Barnstaple fair week - was brought to a close with a spectacular fireworks display over the River Taw.

The display - that only went ahead thanks to an eleventh-hour donation from lead sponsor TK Maxx - ended to applause by the many thousands who stayed on to watch the show from the riverside and Longbridge.

To see many more pictures from Barnstaple Carnival and to order prints, visit our Photo Orders page here.