THE colour and splendour of Barnstaple Carnival returned to the streets of the town on Saturday – something organisers hardly dared dream of after fears earlier this year that it would have to end. In January, the future looked bleak when a £3,500 funding

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THE colour and splendour of Barnstaple Carnival returned to the streets of the town on Saturday - something organisers hardly dared dream of after fears earlier this year that it would have to end.

In January, the future looked bleak when a £3,500 funding shortfall sparked major concerns that the town's 80th annual procession might not go ahead.

But salvation came in the form of financial support from Barnstaple Town Council and North Devon Council, as well as sponsorship from North Devon Homes, M&E Alarms, Brend Hotels and Taw Garages.

And on Saturday, the town was brought to a standstill as thousands of people lined the streets to watch a procession of around 50 entries including 25 floats large and small.

The parade included Friends of Parracombe School, who won the award for Best float by charitable organisation, school or youth group as well as best visiting float for its exotic "Arabian Adventure".

The best of Barnstaple prize went to St John Ambulance Band's Time of Rhyme tableaux.

The day started with an afternoon of live music and fun at The Square followed by a Kidz Karnival for excited youngsters.

A spectacular firework display over the river provided a grand finale to proceedings.

Counters are still hard at work on the fund-raising total, but carnival committee chairman Arthur Windsor said the event had gone well.

"I am extremely pleased at the way it went and I think everybody had a really good carnival day because we've already had some great feedback," he said.

"I'd like to say a personal thank-you to all the volunteers and organisations who helped or sponsored the event.

"On behalf of the carnival committee I hope we've helped those groups and charities in some way to achieve a bit more publicity and raise money."

Mr Windsor said the worry of losing the carnival was still there if the event did not continue to enjoy the good support it saw this year.

"There is still a cloud hanging over it because it's an ongoing thing, so although we had some really good sponsorship this year, the same problems will return unless we continue to enjoy that support.

"We would be only too pleased to hear from anyone who would like to find out more, get involved and help and sponsor us for next year.

"There's also still a plea for more committee members, so if anyone wishes to join we would love to hear from them."

The proceeds collected from the carnival will be presented to local charities and good causes in October.

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Carnival results

Class 1: Best float by charitable organisation, school or youth group - 1st An Arabian Adventure, Friends of Parracombe School; 2nd Ahoy There, Goodleigh Grasshoppers; 3rd The Martians are Coming, Barnstaple Lions Club

Class 2: Best humorous float - 1st The Original Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, North Devon Leisure Centre

Class 3: Best decorated float (18 and over) - 1st North Devon Bangers; 2nd Value House Stores

Class 4: Best visiting royalty - 1st Bideford Carnival Royalty; 2nd Bude Carnival Royalty

Class 5: Best commercial entry - 1st Barum Gate and FunderZone Family Christmas; 2nd Sainsbury's Awards; 3rd Barnstaple Musical Comedy Society's Beauty and the Beast

Class 6: Best walking entry (under 16) - 1st Bob the Builder, Lofty and Wendy, Oliver and Chloe Lovering; 2nd Disney's Princess and the Frog, Caitlin Gubb

Class 7: Best walking entry (adults) - 1st North Devon Coast, Alison Rickman; 2nd Star Wars, Paul Carr; 3rd Lady Victoria, Joan Walton

Class 8: Best walking group (under 18) - 1st Toy Story, Demellweek family and friends; 2nd Falcons Gymnastic Academy; 3rd Monsters from Under the Bed - Ramuk69

Class 9: Best walking group (18 and over) - 1st Combe Martin Showgirls

Class 10: Persons with a mode of transport - 1st Annie, North Devon All Starz; 2nd Oz, Barnstaple Youth Marching Band; 3rd Aladdin's Motorised Tuc-Tuc, North Devon Theatres

Class 11: Best majorettes - 1st N&A Twirlers; 2nd Barnstaple Town Majorettes

Class 12: Best marching band - 1st Army Cadet Force Corps of Drums

Class 13: Best visiting entry - An Arabian Adventure, Friends of Parracombe School

Class 14: Best of Barnstaple - The Time of Rhyme, St John Ambulance Band