THREE Barnstaple students are going head-to-head in a bid to become the town s carnival princess this September. Park Community School, Pilton Community College and Petroc have each selected a candidate worthy of accompanying carnival queen Nikki Church a

THREE Barnstaple students are going head-to-head in a bid to become the town's carnival princess this September.

Park Community School, Pilton Community College and Petroc have each selected a candidate worthy of accompanying carnival queen Nikki Church at this year's event on Saturday, September 18.

Petroc student Natasha Jago; Park's Bethany Tippett; and Pilton's Charlotte Finnagan have all made this year's shortlist.

And now, the North Devon Gazette is asking readers to select the girl they'd like to fulfil the special role and go on to become carnival queen in 2011.

Simply select your winner from the shortlist below and write the name of the girl on the back of a postcard, plus your name and address and telephone number and send to Carnival Princess Vote, North Devon Gazette, Unit 3, Old Station Road, Barnstaple, EX32 8PB.

Voting closes on Thursday, July 1 and we'll announce the winner in the Gazette on July 7.

Carnival committee chairman Arthur Windsor said: "We've got three fantastic candidates this year representing a wide area of Barnstaple.

"I hope Gazette readers will support the competition and help us to select a winner."

The girl with the most votes will not only win a day to remember, they'll win a dress fitting at Joy Street shop Gems; jewellery by Carol Anne Jewellers of Holland Walk; hair by Berties of Litchdon Street; and make-up by Boots. They'll also receive £50 prize money as carnival princess and a further £100 when they go on to become queen in 2011.

"Despite earlier concerns about funding, this year's carnival now looks set to be every bit as good and exciting as last year," added Mr Windsor. "And without giving too much away, they finale looks set to be even better."

*********************************

Natasha Jago, 17, Yarnscombe

"I am a full time student at Petroc and would like to be the carnival princess this year because I have never had the chance to be one before. It would be a great new experience for me - very exciting to wear a lovely dress and to be a princess for a day!"

Bethany Tippett, 15, Barnstaple

"I go to Park Community School and would like to be carnival princess because I think it would be a really good experience, one I will always remember. I would be proud to be a part of the historic Barnstaple carnival. In my spare time I enjoy, singing, playing music, horse riding, and socialising with friends."

Charlotte Finnagan, 15, Bickington

"I am a student at Pilton Community College and would love to be crowned carnival princess because I feel I could show younger girls that you can achieve anything if you be yourself. My hobbies are reading, dancing, singing, acting, cycling and writing. When I leave school, I would like to attend college, to train to be a drama therapist, working with children with special needs."