With nothing but voluntary donations to keep Hunstanton Carnival growing, Cllr Steve Ellis, Graham Peel and Nicki Bowman have pulled off their best Carnival yet judging by the tremendous numbers filling the streets at this year’s Carnival. The official opening of the 2016 Carnival which had a theme of “The Best of British” – was conducted by Hunstanton Mayor Cllr James Johnson supported by Carnival Queen, Makayla Rule, and her Princesses (Purity-Rose Ologhoejebi, Lily Rose, Eleanor Hollin and Zerrin Mitchell) and, of course, the ever popular Carnival Lion.
Despite an overcast start, with somewhat gloomy skies, the sunshine emerged to shine on Hunstanton Carnival by the time the stalls were open. There was a wide variety of interesting stalls for visitors to browse round and some had fun activities to take part in such as the traditional tombola.
The entertainment line up kicked off with Hunstanton Tang Soo Do showing us their prowess with their brand of martial arts. Their newest recruit, Sally Crazy Bananas, took part in a few separate “bouts” with Aiden and Liz Over fully dressed in her clown outfit with her all new Tang Soo Do uniform over top. This was slightly camped up for the benefit of Carnival goers and raised a smile or two I am sure.
The parade was led once more by The Cambridge Caledonian Pipe Band and parade entries varied within the Carnival theme. Providing some fantastic colour and style were the “Red Hat Ladies” from two separate groups: Hunny Belles and Fordham Flowers. In addition, The Hill Street Best of British Music perfectly illustrated the varied nature of cult British music over the years. Well done to them all for their imaginitive entry. The Brownies and Guides had a phenomenal job working to a theme entitled “The Great British Bake Off” with so many children of varying ages to cope with. They incorporated the youngest beautifully, ensuring they had masses of cupcakes to share round. But overall best adult was awarded to Rock Choir who represented “Rock Choir!” and the best children’s float went to the Scouts & Beavers for their lovely little Red Arrows and a Spitfire walking parade entry.
This year the parade included a wonderful London Routemaster bus and well known local, Simon, was very proud to be invited to ride on the bus with Kim and her Dad who jointly run Bus and Us Ltd, the owners of this wonderful piece of British lore. Indeed, many visitors had the opportunity to get on and off the bus during the course of the day as it rested up outside Hunstanton Tourist Office and Town Hall.
Hunstanton green was filled with throngs of visitors and lots of activity and entertainment in the arena. The Cambridge Caledonian Pipe Band started the ball rolling once the parade winners were declared and were followed by a display from Hunstanton Tang Soo Do and Sally the clown from Crazy Bananas. Hunstanton Concert Band kept with the Carnival theme and played some well known and upbeat British tunes finishing with the national anthem. The talented Rollason Dance Academy started their routines around 2.50pm and carried on entertaining us during the mid-afternoon Wildcat Aerobatics display which started at 3pm. The stunning display overhead was a sight and I hope that the fundraising levels will be kept up so that they will return in 2017.
The weather held up for the event with the exception of a small, but significant downpour just as Rock Choir took the floor of the arena lasting for the duration of their performance only! The Rock Choir (with no choirmaster evident as he was busy sorting out a technical glitch with the sound) were inspired to start their performance of with an impromptu rendition of “Singing in the Rain” as the deluge hit them hard out of the blue. Visitors surrounding the arena were obviously well prepared as the brollies went up and they continued to watch as the Rock Choir rose to the occasion and “kept calm and carried on” in true British style when their choirmaster, Mike Tandy, joined them. Mike’s partner Gemma Parsons, calmly provided Mike with the shelter of a golf umbrella and the two kept the choir on track to follow their planned repertoire of uplifting tunes. The rain was unfortunately getting very heavy in places and thus a tarpaulin was provided by A J Wild & Wacky from the stage to help provide some shelter and eventually the rain ended as abruptly as it had begun – just as the Rock Choir finished their set.
The rain naturally forced some Carnival goers to make a rapid retreat and thus numbers did reduce somewhat but the show continued regardless. Next up was the King’s Lynn Ukelele Club who were jolly and original in style and the final act were the very popular “Decomposers”.
Overall an absolutely wonderful day with a fantastic atmosphere. Well done Steve and co.
Please see Hunstanton Carnival website for further information and social media.