When It Happens Panel Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting 'OXFORD NEWS' to 80360 or email
Crowds flock to towns’ carnivals
THE carnival Queeen returned to Wallingford and Woodstock had an Indian flavour when thousands enjoyed the towns’ summer parties.
Both annual carnivals were staged at the weekend.
Kicking off festivities in Wallingford was a procession led by Oxford Caledonian Pipes and Drums band that snaked through the town from Hithercroft sports park to the Market Place then Kinecroft open space, where mayor Ros Lester declared the carnival open.
About 5,000 visitors enjoyed a host of stalls and games on the carnival field, and displays by James Dylan’s International Motorcycle Stunt Show and the Goring Growlers dog team. There was also a performance by Wallingford School Fun Band.
The 12-hour event, which started at 11am, ended with music from Queen tribute band The Bohemians.
Wallingford Carnival chairman Rose Southern, who lost her voice after singing along to We are the Champions by the tribute band, said: “It was a fantastic occasion for the town. The weather did us proud after worrying us all week.
“Those who turned out for the event were families young and old and it was a joyous event enjoyed by all.”
The mayor, who was brought to the carnival on a horse and cart, said: “It was super. It was cold, it was blustery, but there was a fantastic turnout.
“The Market Place was full and there were so many there cheering and clapping, it was lovely going through and brought a tear to my eye.”
Also in the procession was carnival queen Casie Marshall, 18, from Wallingford, the first queen since 1984 after the tradition was revived this year to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
She was joined by carnival princess Lily-May Nunn, eight, and her attendants Emily Gomm, nine, and Sophie Fuchs, 10, all from Wallingford.
In Woodstock, Indian drums and accordions brought Woodstock alive as the annual charity carnival paraded through the village.
The event on Saturday was opened by former Olympic gymnast and broadcaster, Suzanne Dando, who was treated to a wacky take on the traditional Olympic disciplines as a series of fancy dressed “competitors” joined the parade.
Also taking part was 11-year-old Arran Gill who played the Indian dhol drum with classmates from St Michael’s Primary School in Barton, Oxford.
Dressed in a shining robe and sporting colourful facepaints the young musicians impressed the crowd.
Arran said: “There were about eight of us playing in a group.
“The crowd thought it was pretty good and we were loud – we went for the loudest thing we could play so I think they enjoyed it.”