Cromer Carnival hits the heights with Red Arrows display and “brilliant” parade
PUBLISHED: 21:09 15 August 2018 | UPDATED: 12:52 16 August 2018
Mr Sun smiled down and his expression was reflected in the faces of tens of thousands of people as they enjoyed the spectacular Cromer Carnival parade.
Warm weather and warm hearts combined as the magnificent procession of motorised and walking floats brought a snaking splash of colour to the streets of the Gem of the Norfolk Coast.
The parade saw spectators standing as much as seven-deep to watch as it made its way from the carnival field assembly point, down Runton Road, through the town centre and looping round before heading back to the field.
It was a fitting climax to a day of fun that was punctuated in the afternoon by a roof-rattling display of precision flying by the Red Arrows. Necks craned skywards to watch the remarkable pilots defying belief above the sea, the pier and the town.
The floats had assembled on the field for judging before the parade, entertaining crowds with music and dancing while they waited to be led off by a pipe band, Miss Cromer Emma Thompson and her fellow ‘royal’ family members and local emergency services crews.
Helen Dalton-Hare, who founded the special needs charity About With Friends 16 years ago, took part with 48 of her members and staff, with the group bagging a runner-up prize for their 1970s-themed float.
She said: “We all absolutely love the carnival. Our members have been up on the field today with their support workers and they have enjoyed it so much. It has just been a thoroughly brilliant week.”
Some people turned out hours early to bag a prime spot for the parade, while others watched from balconies or the roofs of their cars.
Floats ranged from a walking daisy chain from Cromer in Bloom and a ‘Beautiful Creatures’ entry from Cromer Parish Church, to an articulated lorry pirate ship and an entry featuring dozens of dancing clowns from Norwich-based Anglia Academy of Dance and Drama.
Carnival chairman Tony Shipp, who has been involved in the annual event for nearly 50 years, said that, thanks to fine weather, families had turned out in force.
“All in all, it has been a brilliant day,” he added. “People came and stayed and we’ve had crowds six or seven deep down the road for the parade.”
There are still plenty of highlights coming up in the final few days of carnival week.
Today (Thursday, August 16) there will be a ‘party on the lawns’ at Evington Lawns from 2pm with charity stalls and activities for children including a circus workshop.
A crab dressing contest for adults is on at 4pm.
This is followed by a torchlight parade which starts at the meadow at 7pm, and there are evening events at carnival field including a Cromer versus Sheringham tug-of-war and fireworks display at 9.15pm.
The band Bloodshake Chorus will play at the carnival marquee in Runton Road from 8.15pm.
On Friday there will be crab catching at the pier from 10.30am, and a walking treasure hunt around town from 2pm.
From 8pm, a fancy dress dance will take place at the carnival marquee, with a special cup for the best dressed in memory of Simon Hedge.