Carnival as good as ever despite initial fears

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First published in Headlines by

RINGWOOD became a riot of colour and community spirit on Saturday as revellers in their thousands lined the streets to make the annual cavalcade a day to remember.

Fears that this year's event would be a flop after organisers received the lowest number of advance applications for float entries to date, were dispelled as a the procession proved to be as colourful, comical and entertaining as ever.

The event is one of the country’s biggest volunteer-run carnivals, and people of all ages turned out to support the event, which dates back to the turn of the century.

In the end, dozens of floats and walking entries took part in the day, along with traction engines, and majorettes, and a record number of bands.

To be spotted in the event’s two processions, were people dressed as animals, clowns, farmers and cowboys along the way, along with Stuart Wallis's entry - a roadworthy replica of film star car Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, which is a familiar sight at town events, but featured a new and exciting twist this year.

Mr Wallis, 54, spent months converting a clapped-out old Land Rover into the famous flying car. But it did not - until now - actually leave the ground.

He said: “The apparatus includes a winch and a cable system - it's like a glorified kitchen table coming up on four legs.

“The wheels come clean off the ground amid a cloud of disco smoke.”

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