Lord Mayor's colourful night

RICHARD BALLS Dinosaurs, monsters from Star Wars, ugly bugs... they all went to the Lord Mayor's ball.A science theme clearly sent the imaginations racing and resulted in one of the most eye-opening and colourful processions through the streets of Norwich as on-lookers of all ages lapped up the evening sunshine.

RICHARD BALLS

Dinosaurs, monsters from Star Wars, ugly bugs…….they all went to the Lord Mayor's ball.

A science theme clearly sent the imaginations racing and resulted in one of the most eye-opening and colourful processions through the streets of Norwich as on-lookers of all ages lapped up the evening sunshine.

Samba bands, school groups, dance troupes and gymnasts were also among those who contributed to the visual and aural extravaganza that was the Lord Mayor's procession, the jewel in a five-day programme of events across the city.

Delighted organisers estimated that 25,000 people watched the firework display from Norwich Castle which rounded off the stunning night's entertainment after the procession had snaked its way triumphantly from Newmarket Road, along St Stephen's and Castle Meadow to Tombland.

“It was a brilliant day and an experience like no other,” enthused Lord Mayor Felicity Hartley afterwards. “I cannot put into words just how wonderful it was and thank you to everyone who took part.”

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Leader of the council Steve Morphew said: “I was amazed at the effort that people had put into all the floats and the imagination. It seemed to me that the whole of Norwich and most of Norfolk was out on the streets to celeberate.”

Winner of the Best Float was Bystanders Theatre company, with Bishop Bridge House, St Edmunds Society and Treehouse runners-up.

Best Walking Group was won by the Mile Cross Phoenix Children's Centre while the runners-up were the Phoenix Carnival Group, Magdalen Gates First School and the Red Hot Society.

The PACT animal sanctuary meanwhile won Carnival Spirit and the runners-up were South Harford Middle School, Bayer Crop Science and the John Innes Centre.

Thousands of people also packed into Chapelfield Gardens for an evening of music featuring Bhangra-rock band Kissmet and Orkestra Du Sol and The Carnival Collective, and which was brought to a rousing finale at midnight by 150 samba players from Norfolk, Suffolk and Surrey.

From lunchtime today, an eclectic mix of global music was performed in the park and elsewhere in the city festival-goers enjoyed outdoor theatre and other events in the summer sun.

All money collected during the carnival will go to the Lord Mayor and Sheriff's chosen charity, BREAK.