Thousands lined the streets to soak up the summer spectacle of three major carnival events in Shropshire.
Shrewsbury’s annual carnival procession was based on the theme, Carnival Goes Pop.
Meanwhile, in Newport, thousands of people came along to watch a parade before heading off to Shuker Field for an afternoon and evening of music and entertainment. And Carnival Queen Nicole Paget led the festivities for the annual carnival in Newtown.
Warm sunshine brought out the crowds in Shrewsbury. The procession travelled from The Quarry on to Smithfield Road via Victoria Quay, before turning right on to Castle Street, in to the town centre and around the one-way system to Hugh Street when it went along Shoplatch to Bellstone and Bridge Street before re-entering The Quarry.
The float procession was judged by Shrewsbury MP Daniel Kawczynski who took great delight in climbing on and off the floats to chat to all those taking part.
The Carnival Goes Pop theme saw music of all generations, from the flapper girls of the 1920s to the Beatles and current stars.
The Shrewsbury LGBT group won both the large float and the walking group awards with their colourful array of pop stars from across the decades.
Prior to the the carnival parade the streets of Shrewsbury hosted a road race. Hundreds of runners braved one of the hottest days of the year to take part in the Shrewsbury Carnival Road Race, which was run in conjunction with the Keith Ivison Memorial Race.
Organised by Ron Morgan and Christine Ivison, in conjunction with the Shropshire Shufflers, the race is in memory of Christine’s husband Keith, one of the Shufflers’ founder members, raising money for Severn Hospice and the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital neonatal unit.
Mayor of Shrewsbury, Councillor Beverley Baker, who joined the parade in an open topped car said: “The carnival is a great day which brings everyone together to have fun and raise funds for many local charities. What a wonderful day.”
This year arena attractions included the Hawkeye Falconry Display Tea, 2 Step dance Academy, STFC Cheerleaders, Viv Kelly Dancers, 1119 (Shrewsbury) Squadron ATC, 28(Shawbury) Squadron ATC, a helicopter from RAF Shawbury, a fun fair, charity stalls, Zumba, trade stalls and a dog show.
And the crowds could also enjoy the coracle racing on the River Severn organised by the Pengwern Boat Club.
Money raised by the carnival goes to local charities.
Thousands turned out for the Newtown Carnival, where there were some imaginative fancy dress costumes to be seen. Carnival floats travelled through the town, starting at Lower Canal Road, and an afternoon of entertainment in the Town Hall grounds was followed by a free music event to showcase Newtown’s musical talent.
Meanwhile, in Newport, bands lined the high street to entertain shoppers before scores of entrants in the carnival 10k road race made their way up through the town.
The race, organised by Newport Running Club, started and finished at Longford Hall and took the runners on a circular route to Church Aston and back.
Once the runners had gone by the crowds waited expectantly for the first sight of the main carnival procession, which was led for the first time in three years by the pipes and drums of the 1st Battalion Royal Irish Regiment.
This was the first year that the battalion, based at Tern Hill in Market Drayton, had not been away on a tour of duty for carnival day since 2011, and the soldiers were warmly received by the crowds.
They were followed by Newport’s own “royal family” – the carnival queen and king and their attendants – and a long procession of lorries, trailers and pedestrians portraying everything from pirates to the Commonwealth Games.
The overall best float prize winner was the Great British Summer put together by SS Peter and Paul Primary School, which incorporated a day on the beach, Wimbledon and a garden party.
PTA member and helper Clare Booth said there were about 60 children on the 40ft trailer and they were delighted to win. She said: “It’s brilliant – they were really excited, and we were singing We Are The Champions all along the route!
“We asked the children to do some homework on what they thought was a great British summer and they gave us the ideas.”
Once the procession arrived at Shuker Field, the young “royals” had the important task of releasing hundreds of red and blue balloons to officially open the carniva, the honour falling to carnival queen Ava Pascall.