THE splendid costumes and spectacular sights of Ilfracombe's Victorian Celebrations return this weekend for a week long stay and although those bastions of Empire might have had the odd stiff upper lip, they knew when to let their hair down too! The gra

THE splendid costumes and spectacular sights of Ilfracombe's Victorian Celebrations return this weekend for a week long stay - and although those bastions of Empire might have had the odd stiff upper lip, they knew when to let their hair down too!The grand opening parade on Saturday leaves the Candar at the top of Ilfracombe High Street at 1.45pm, with Queen Victoria, bands, costumed "promenaders," horse drawn carriages, riders on horseback and majorettes.The procession will wind its way to the Trinity Fayre at the Vicarage in St Brannocks Road, bustling with traditional sideshows, rides, swing boats, stalls and cream teas.The celebrations are a popular attraction within the North Devon Festival and part of the Touring Theatres and Fayres strand sponsored by the North Devon Gazette.Highlights include a traditional Old Time Variety Show at the Landmark Theatre, presented by Ilfracombe Musical Productions at 8.15pm on Wednesday and Thursday of next week. Tickets are available from the box office on (01271) 324242.For the full list of events - including the crowning of the prince and princess, Pearlies' Night, teddy bears' picnic, afternoon tea and town crier competition - visit www.ilfvc.org.uk