ILFRACOMBE Carnival is promising to be extra special next week as it marks the 80th anniversary of St John Ambulance in the town, welcomes a brand new event - and says goodbye to some old friends. The carnival committee of Ilfracombe St John hopes to pull

ILFRACOMBE Carnival is promising to be extra special next week as it marks the 80th anniversary of St John Ambulance in the town, welcomes a brand new event - and says goodbye to some old friends.

The carnival committee of Ilfracombe St John hopes to pull out all the stops when carnival week begins on Saturday and builds up to the grand parade on Thursday of next week (August 26.)

A brand new event will be seen on carnival night with the first ever Around the Town Cycle Race, in conjunction with the North Devon Wheelers and British Cycle Association.

North Devon personalities Hopps and Chapple will be there on the night to crown the carnival queen and help judge the classes - but it will also be a poignant occasion too.

"We are delighted they are coming along but sadly carnival day is going to be their last ever breakfast show with Heart and North Devon is going to miss them!" said Sue Ayre from the carnival committee.

Carnival begins on Saturday and Sunday with the annual two day table and car boot sale on the seafront from 10am-5pm.

A Masonic lunch is being held at the Masonic Lodge in Northfield Road from 12.30pm.

On Monday and Tuesday the St John Ambulance Summer Fair at Ilfracombe Rugby Club from 10am-5pm, plus a car boot and table top sale. Plus sideshows, barbecue, bouncy castle, fun and games.

On Wednesday there is a fancy dress competition for all ages on the seafront from 7.30pm.

The cycle race on carnival night starts and finishes at the Grosvenor Hotel on the seafront, with trace start at 6.45pm.

Costumed carnival revellers are invited to bring themselves or their floats to the swimming pool car park at Brimlands, with judging from 7pm and the procession moving off at 7.30.

A second weekend of car boot and table top sales will run on the seafront on Saturday and Sunday, August 28 and 29.

Carnival entry forms are available from Alan Jackson Shoe Repairs and Tinker Tailor Party Shop in the High Street. To book tables at any of the sales call Graham Moger on (01271) 883018. Masonic lunch booking on (01271) 863861.